Posted by: John Herman | November 23, 2015

A Childhood of Tablets

Children and education are topics Nicholas Carr touches on in his book, it is interesting to consider how the computer tablet and smart phone are making an impression on both. Computers are widespread in schools, child tablets are being produced and educational apps are numerous. Increasingly, children use these technologies at a younger age and for longer periods of time.

While they are not the Internet, their effects can be equally important.

On US and British news sites, feature articles offer different viewpoints on this issue. One article in the US refers to how the tablet is being increasingly used as a babysitter. Articles from the United Kingdom and India stress the importance of parent’s participation on their children’s ability to read. An article from the Guardian addresses the affects of the device on reading. Another article from Australia argues that children who use tablet devices are less able to use desktop or laptop computers. Yet in countries like South Africa, India and Kenya tablets are seen as a solution and governments are investing large amounts of money in bringing them into the classroom for children.

As Carr points out, the mind is always changing and adapting to new circumstances, how does a child’s mind adapt or change with the introduction of the tablet or the smart phone?  Is it a learning device or a babysitter? How will the verbal and physical disconnect from traditional interaction with adults, peers and physical toys change or not change how their brains develop?

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