Should I let my child use a tablet/iPad?

Reading lots of articles and concerns of parents who want to get the balance right between using technology and having a technology free household for their children. Social conversation can be awkward not knowing if you will be judged by saying “Yes my child uses an iPad!” can leave you in this quandary. Do I allow my child to use the iPad/tablet?  What should they be looking at? What games should they be allowed to play? Much as anything a balance needs to be achieved.  

Technology today is phenomenal. It should be used to help interest, capture and inspire our children. I find when technology is used as a baby-sitter that this can then encourage the negative connotations to arise. Stopping children from immersing in this world can ultimately effect their confidence in a highly technological world/work environment.

When I think back to the beginning of my teaching career where there was one computer for children to use times have dramatically changed. Lots of teachers I have met and spoken often say “I feel out of my depth. Where do I start? This wasn’t around when I was at school!”. When you feel out of your depth it can become a harder and more frantic process to use technology efficiently to support you. Preventing children from immersing themselves in these skills can have a huge impact.

Tinkering was a huge part of my world. Being allowed to sit on a computer and learn how it worked rather than being instructed helped me develop my confidence and understanding.

Information is at our finger tips but we crucially need to teach our children how to look for information safely. Sitting and looking at how simple games were built from a few lines of code amazed me and also made me appreciate games that I did play. I was brought up in a household where to know how something worked enabled you to appreciate and understand it. Learning how to thread a sewing machine when I was 6, tinkering with my first car at 17, built up a sense of curiosity. Although I may not go on to be a mechanic having some understanding of how my car worked made me more confident in approaching problems I had with it. To simple say I don’t have to understand something works to use it worries me when I think about the safety of children, especially when they use the internet.

Stopping children from using it will hinder their education. Set guideline and rules. Encourage technology to help support learning.

For more information on educational apps that can be used to develop your child knowledge and skills please go to our website. Each week we will post new apps that you may find useful.

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