Hello All and welcome to fall! Now that summer has ended here is an interesting and thought provoking article which discusses the value of “interactive screen time” for young children. This is a concept that I have often recommended with the apps that I choose for children. Enjoy the article, Can Screen Time Be Educational for Toddlers? by Katherine Martinelli
The American Academy of Pediatrics is known to guilty parents everywhere for advising against any screen time for children under 18 months, and very cautious usage after that, with no more than an hour of “high quality programming” for kids age 2-5. But in this day and age, when media is everywhere, the pediatricians group now recognizes that it’s time to go beyond “turn it off.”
It’s important, they note, for parents to recognize that not all screen time is created equal. Some TV shows, games and apps are more developmentally appropriate for preschool children than others. And just as important as the choice of media itself is the role you play in how your child consumes it.
While many apps and television shows are marketed as being educational for young children, countless studies have shown that even the best of them cannot compete with real life activities and human interaction.
A seminal study from the University of Washington a decade ago compared the results of a group of seven-month-olds who interacted in real life with a Mandarin Chinese speaker and comparable groups who watched a DVD or just listened to audio. The group who listened to the live tutor were quickly able to distinguish Mandarin sounds from English, while the other groups acquired no recognition of the language (watch a video of Dr. Kimberly Noble describing the experiment here).
“What that tells us,” says Sarah Lytle, Director of Outreach and Education at the University of Washington Institute for Brain Sciences, “is at least in the very early age children need that live human experience and the technology is not an adequate substitute.”