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
Sep 30, 2014
St. Louis county police officers advance on protestors trying to shut down Interstate 70 in Berkeley, Mo. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 near the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. where Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year old was shot and killed by a white police officer on Aug. 9. (AP)

Police shootings, cop culture, body cameras. And the big debate over how to protect the public and the police.

Sep 30, 2014
In this Jan. 15, 2013, photo, Rosser Pryor, Co-owner and President of Factory Automation Systems, examines a new high-performance industrial robot at the company's Atlanta facility.  (AP)

Nicholas Carr says automation, all over, is turning us into zombies. Out of touch with the world. He’s with us.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 29, 2014
A 1597 map of Lesbos / Mytilene, Greece by Giacomo Franco. (Flickr / Creative Commons)

How Aristotle invented science. The great ancient Greek, and life on Earth.

 
Sep 29, 2014
In this March 8, 2012 file photo, Peter Thiel speaks in San Francisco. (AP)

Silicon Valley’s Peter Thiel; the entrepreneur, investor and the PayPal co-founder’s call for deep invention.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Transcript: Sexual Violence Under ISIS Control
Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014

A transcript from our September 25, 2014 conversation on the Islamic State and sexual violence.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: September 26, 2014
Friday, Sep 26, 2014

All of you love to listen to old broadcasts when we play them, and Taylor Swift loves the Internet.

More »
Comment
 
NPR’s Chris Arnold On Garnished Wages
Wednesday, Sep 24, 2014

NPR’s Chris Arnold took part in a remarkable new reporting series tackling the rise of garnished wages as a way to pay off debt. He talked to us today about the series.

More »
3 Comments