If you think eBooks are popular now, think about the new generation of kids whose parents have smartphones, laptops, eReaders, and every other device. More and more parents are handing off their iPhones with apps to entertain young children or shut them up. The youngest of the bunch get apps with music and animals and stuff to keep them occupied. The older ones who read get more printed words and simple games. Up the ladder we go until each child will have their own eBook device. Already people are reading more because of eBooks. They are cheaper and far more available.
In this technological age children under 8 are spending more time than ever in front of screens. Those with the technology are the more affluent while the low income groups are still watching TV. For kids under 2, they found no educational benefit to watching television, and, in fact, believe TV could actually delay language development. Reading remains the best path to developing language skills.
Common Sense Media, a San Francisco non-profit group, just released the first study of children and screen time from birth. Almost half of affluent families downloaded apps specifically for their young children, while lower income families were far less at 1in 8. As technology gets cheaper expect more and more younger children to have more screen devices. Presently, the study found half of children under 8 had access to a mobile device like a smartphone, a video iPod, or an iPad or other screen device.
Television is still the number one screen device but that will likely change as interactive programs will no doubt challenge children more, keeping their interest much more than static television programs. But even with the state of the economy, 30% of children under 2 have televisions in their bedrooms. I can’t comprehend a TV in a child’s room that young. My children had no TVs in their rooms and, I believe were much better readers for it. As incomes rise, the preponderance of TVs in kid’s rooms drop.
In regards to another screen, the computer, preschoolers are using them ever the more. Putting your child in front of a computer or other screen has to be better than the TV, education-wise, anyhow. Parents do like their laptops and iPhone and games and we all know children copy their parents.
So, if children are attracted to the screens so much it’s a good time to wean them from TV and get them specific apps to encourage reading and interaction such as music. When this new generation of eKids grows up they should be better readers and subsequently do better in academics. They will have access to humungous online libraries directly from their rooms. I just don’t think they’ll be as excited going into a bookstore or library as I was. Better readers will find this technology easier to use and have advantages over others. It may even result in children reading at younger ages. Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/25/us/screen-time-higher-than-ever-for-children-study-finds.html