I don’t have a lot of mom friends “in real life”. My best mom friend happens to be my coworker whose son is 5 now. We talk a lot about our children’s interests and how best to nourish them. We talk about what happens when they go to school. I joke sometimes that Sal will be our “test case” since he starts kindergarten this fall. He reads, writes, draws beautiful pictures and very passionate about technology. I remember him as a not-yet-three year old playing independently on Starfall, building various characters and using a mouse as casually as we do. We are not giving Anna as much exposure to computers yet, but watching her play on my iPod I am telling myself – these devices will revolutionize education as we know it, and it would be silly to deny her access to them. iPad and tablet PCs (when they finally materialize) will rule our children’s world. A lot of classic education is built on memorization and beautiful handwriting, but will those skills be relevant in 21st century? Some of the science fiction dreams of our childhood did come through – we can carry a lot of knowledge in our pocket and ask any question through a few clicks. The real challenge of parents and teachers will be to teach kids how to ask those questions, to teach them to question the answers, to integrate information quickly, to process a lot of data. Both me and my friend are excited to take on this challenge through introducing best of what technology has to offer to our kids fairly early (we both also believe in not introducing any electronic edutainment before the age of 2). However, as I browse iTunes site, I am often frustrated to the point of tears with how difficult it is to find anything unless you know what you are looking for. The number of applications is exploding with many people trying to make a quick buck in the new market place. I found some gems that work for us like Teach Kindergarten, ShapeBuilder and iWriteWords, but I often ask my friend for her advice. That’s why I am excited to tell you about her own brand new website called very appropriately iKids. If you have any of iDevices, hop over and see if any of those applications will appeal to your kids or to the kid inside you.
Question: What kind of iApps or computer games are favorites with your kids? Do you allow them to play as much as you want or limit their time?
PS. I am not an iTunes affiliate at the point of writing this post. I don’t like non-financial and non-government websites asking me to provide them my social security number. I think it’s identity theft waiting to happen, and I hope that Apple will reconsider their affiliate registration process shortly.