Should your six-year-old have an iPad? At least one educator says yes.
“Think of devices like the iPad, and its little brother, the new camera-equipped iPod Touch, as the bicycle of the digital age,” said Warren Buckleitner, editor of Children’s Technology Review and an educator, education researcher and parent. “These devices are at the center of a modern child’s play. They capture and manage information.”
Buckleitner made the statement in response to a parent who wonders whether fulfilling the request from her Montessori-educated first grader for “an iPad like her daddy has” is a good idea.
With consumer electronics making up most of what’s on American’s holiday wish lists (even ahead of world peace) parents are rightly asking themselves what age is too young for Apple’s “magical” tablet computer.
The key: don’t just use the iPad as an wired babysitter. Buckleitner says that Montessori herself would probably approve of the device, but “she’d be choosy about the apps,” and would “look for experiences that empower a child, promote active learning; and that have smart features, such as the ability to self-correct and auto level.”
Some parents have already found out what happens when you switch on an iPad for your kid and switch off parenting mode.
We reported a couple of months ago about a toddler who spent $50 in in-app purchases on mom’s iPad, it seems the problem is becoming more widespread. Much to the annoyance of parents who have to pay the credit card bills, in-app iPhone and iPad buys are popular with kids.