Sunday, June 20, 2010

Kids And Mobile

I don't have kids but I am in the fortunate position of being an uncle to a few little and adorable nephews and nieces. The best part about being an uncle is the absolution of any real parental responsibilities.

However, I am concerned about the mental and educational development of these kids. Instead of yielding their development to the Disney gang, Dora, and clueless blue dog, I tried to get them to work with games and puzzles. Of course, that doesn't always work.

But they were highly interested in my iPhone. And now, with my iPad. So, i make it a point to load up a page of apps suitable for their use.

Of course, it isn't just replace the TV with an iPad. A lot of it involves adult supervision. My three-year old nephew is adept with the home button and the swiping.

I think there is an inherent advantage to this. Not only I am able pull these kids away from the TV, which is the biggest win of all, they are learning something. At least, that's what I am hoping.

So far, the app that had the cutest animals, the noisiest, and large buttons seem to my nephews favorites. With an alphabet app, I worked with the kids to repeat the sounds. I think in two weekends of playing with the apps, my oldest nephew has learned quite a bit.

And that is what is going to make mobile work. Most the important mobile lesson I got out of this experience. Parents, teachers, and caretakers don't have to be tethered to a desktop to work with children. The convenience of a robust mobile platform with child-proof hardware (this includes drops, banging, excessive pressure on the screen, and, of course, drools).

More importantly, adult supervision is a must. Yes, there isn't any technology available that can supplement an adult working with a child. No technology that can replace a parent. Nevertheless, I am encouraged with what mobile tech can offer our children these days.

-- Post From My iPad

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