90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
KidPads

Young children and high technology. What happens when toddlers take to iPads?

What happens when toddlers take to iPads? (S_Ishimaru/Flickr)

What happens when toddlers take to iPads? (S_Ishimaru/Flickr)

There’s a new babysitter, teacher, toy and pacifier in toddler town. And it’s the iPad. The smartphone. The closest high-tech touch-screen gizmo that a parent can hand to a child. Toddlers are the new touchscreen aficionados.

Hand them an iPad, and they’re on it like glue. A smartphone, and they get “Angry Birds” in an instant. One year old. Two.

And given a chance they’re all over the technology. Some parents see it as a miracle learning tool and governess. Mary Poppins in a box. Others as a pacifier. What’s it doing to their brains?

This hour, On Point: What happens when toddlers take to iPads?

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Michael Rich, a “mediatrician” and director of the Center on Media and Child Health.

James Steyer, CEO and Founder Common Sense Media.

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal “Kids for years have sat too close to the television for too long or played hours of Madden on family room game players. But pediatric neuroscientists and researchers who have studied the effects of screen-time on children suggest the iPad is a different beast.”

Slate “No more plopping preschoolers in front of videos to “zone out.” With the emergence of touchscreen tablets and e-readers, screen time has become interactive—and thus less guilt-inducing for parents who need a short break. Every purposeful swipe of our children’s fingers seems to offer a reassuring signal that their minds are at work, contemplating what to do next.”

Video

Check out this video of a young child interfacing with paper technology.

Photo: “Apptivity Case”

This iPhone case comes from the Fisher Price company.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 23, 2014
Specialist Ronnie Howard, center, calls out prices as he works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Beyond the turmoil shaking financial markets, the U.S. economy remains sturdier than many seem to fear. (AP)

The global economic wobble. Europe weakness. China fears. Wild markets. We’ll lay out the global economy now.

Oct 23, 2014
A screenshot from the interactive game, "Depression Quest," the game at the root of the ongoing #GamerGate controversy. (Courtesy  "Depression Quest")

#GamerGate. Sexism, misogyny and rough stuff in a video game world culture clash.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 22, 2014
Authors Nicholas Kristof and wife Sheryl WuDunn attend the premiere of "Meena" at the AMC Loews Theater on Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York.

Author and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says regular folks like us can change the world. He explains how. Plus: we remember the late, great Washington Post editor, Ben Bradlee.

 
Oct 22, 2014
Health workers carry the body of a woman suspected of contracting the Ebola virus in Bomi county situated on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014. (AP)

We’ll go to Liberia, and hear from a pastor and a physician at the epicenter of the Ebola crisis.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
1 Comment
 
Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

More »
Comment