Electronics as educational tools has only truly blossomed in the last decade. Computers have become staples in the classroom and high school students (my daughter included) are almost required to have a laptop available to them. It’s estimated that the iPad 2 is the most sought after gift this holiday season for kids 6 to 12 years old.
But how young is too young? Schools across the country have begun aggressively pursuing the iPad 2 as a learning tool for a much younger age group. A school in Maine recently spent $200,000 to equip almost 300 kindergarteners and their teachers with iPad 2s. Teachers found that children with difficulty learning the alphabet were more receptive and showed greater progress in learning through the iPad 2 and appropriate apps. It should come as no surprise that Maine is the frontrunner in such programs. In 2002 they created the Maine Learning Technology Initiative with the goal of using technology to prepare middle and high school students for a 21st century technology based economy.
The iPad 2 is considered a great learning platform due to its large screen and literally hundreds of apps for kids. Take a look at a few in the video below.
My friends with children tell me that they rely heavily on their iPads and other tablet devices to both entertain and educate their kids. Lots of electronics retailers are starting to cater towards younger customers. J&R’s new department J&R jr. carries a ton of computer related products geared towards kids. While I believe that devices will never replace good teachers, integrating them into the learning process seems to make good sense in my opinion. Would you get an iPad 2 for your toddler or kindergartener?