No more plopping preschoolers in front of videos to “zone out.” With the emergence of touchscreen tablets and e-readers, screen time has become interactive—and thus less guilt-inducing for parents who need a short break. Every purposeful swipe of our children’s fingers seems to offer a reassuring signal that their minds are at work, contemplating what to do next.
Are interactive media really better, though? As Screen-Free Week carries on, and as electronic games for young children flood the market—72 percent of iTunes’ top-selling “education” apps are designed for preschoolers and elementary school children, according to a recent report from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop—we need to find out.
Few studies looking specifically at tablets and touchscreen phones have been released yet. But research from Georgetown University, published in 2010, can give us a hint of whether interactive screen time has any potential for teaching children as young as 2½ years old. The short answer is yes, but the caveats are many ...
Via Carisa Kluver