The clichéd idea that children prefer to play with a box than the expensive gadgets contained within may finally be on the wane, as a new generation of technology-savvy tots have hit the headlines this week.
After a recent poll showed that over 50% of mums and dads allow their babies to play with a mobile device, such as an iPhone or tablet, a London psychiatrist has revealed that he is treating a four-year-old girl for iPad addiction.
Dr Richard Graham, who specialises in adolescent technology addiction, has said of his tiny patient, “In the year running up to contacting the clinic, the parents noticed her use of the iPad was escalating. She was using it three to four hours every day and showed increased agitation if it was removed.”
“She had developed an obsession with the device and would ask for it constantly. She would become very distressed and inconsolable when it was taken away”
While Dr Graham believes a rise in similar cases is highly lively due to our increasing reliance on digital devices, many would argue that technology is actually beneficial for our children’s education.
Technology behemoth Apple has recently mooted “field trips to the Apple store for students and teachers” as an enriching experience for school children.
In the statement, the trailblazing brand claims, “Our store is their classroom. Students create projects from scratch or come to showcase the remarkable work they’ve already created. (They can) experience the Mac, iPad and other Apple products as learning tools.”
Unsurprisingly, this has proven a divisive proposal, with The Times’ Kevin Maher archly dismissing it as “laden with high-tech West Coast benevolence and corporate altruism” while Twitter has been awash with mixed reactions from students and education professionals.
One stateside teacher gleefully posted “1st field trip for ECLC Nursery & 5th grade going to the Apple store to learn to create digital stories using iMovie #SISRocks”
So what do you think? What is the value of technology in our children’s lives? Let us know by leaving a comment below or join the debate on our Facebook page.