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Should you let Kids Use iPads?


Steve Jobs didn't let his kids use iPads (as per this website) - even though he invented them himself. A lot of parents might want to follow him. "Especially in Silicon Valley, there is actually a trend of tech execs and engineers who shield their kids from technology." The claim is that technological addiction prevents kids minds from becoming creative "setting up our children for incomplete, handicapped lives devoid of imagination, creativity and wonder when we hook them onto technology at an early age."

To me this is an extremely biased and dystopian view of technology exposure - though it is nothing new - the same type of concerns were raised few decades ago for TV and before that even for newspapers.

My view is that it depends on how and what kind of exposure you give your kids. For ex. kids today already know the whole ABC, 123, almost all poems by the age of two. This is all thanks to nicely made kids rhyme videos which you can play in abundance thanks to YouTube. They not only know the poem Baba black sheep, they also knows what the 'black sheep' looks like. That in my view is awesome, and I wouldn't trade this childhood for the one which I had sans technology, sans Internet.

You may argue that as of now it's all guided and controlled learning for tiny tots until they operate the tablet themselves. It may be scary when kids starts using it on their own and get exposed to the bad and ugly side of the Internet. That's an important point and we should keep Internet and Tech exposure guided for a long time - almost well into their teens.

And then, even as we start getting worried about the ill effects of using virtual world on children's phsychology, products like Osmo emerge [see video above]. This takes creativity to the next level, blending the use of tech with Human abilities of random heuristic thinking and learning. The tagline of Osmo is - Play out of the Box - and it indeed does that.

In summary, technology today is as good or as bad as the video games or TV was in our growing up years or newspapers, magazines and radio were to our parents' generation. It can help develop you as an individual if used in the right way avoiding any excesses.

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