Sand Tables and Tablets
My daughter has had access to touch devices since she was 2 years old. Young kids grasp how to use them very quickly with little or no instruction. It seemed sensible to me to expose her to the #technology early on, because I have no doubt these would be part of her life at home and at school, at least until the next big thing in technology arrives that maybe hasn’t been invented yet. She is now 4 and at nursery, where they have several iPads and a touch screen TV. I am sure this is not unique to her nursery.
The interesting observation, though, is that some children still go straight to the water table, or sand table, and not the iPads. I include my daughter in that statement even though she will often ask for an iPad when she gets to nursery. She loves Play-Doh, churns out pictures and paintings like a machine, makes castles out of old boxes and toilet rolls, and her favourites are Lego bricks, but she does love the iPad as well.
As for me, I still like to draw, but regardless of how good graphic apps for the tablet get, I will sometimes still get a pencil and some paper, go “old school” and sketch. Play-Doh, pencils, paper, sand tables, and water tables are all here for a little while yet, but kids now have an additional, and quite impressive learning option available there for the touching.
The reality is that touch screens are part of our lives now, and here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. Touch devices are simply another option for young learners, or learners of any age. Touch adds an additional richness to the learning.
About the author: Iain Home is a UK father, student of education trends, and an international marketing strategist for Promethean.