Where iPads Fall Short in a Child’s Education




We hear a great deal about the benefits of iPads in the classroom, but not often do we get to hear about some of the negative effects:

Toddlers these days are barely out of nappies before they are playing with touch-screen toys and fiddling with iPads.

And now, it seems, they are paying the price – because when they arrive at nursery they are apparently struggling to pick up basic fine-motor skills such as holding pencils, pens and crayons.

Some nurseries have installed interactive ‘smartboards’, digital cameras and touch-screen computers to try to expose children to gadgets at an early age.

One of the learning goals in the revised Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is that ‘children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and school’.

Under a section on Understanding the World, youngsters must also find out about and ‘identify the uses of everyday technology and use information and communication technology (ICT) and programmable toys to support their learning’.

Some nurseries have prioritised ICT as a result and ploughed resources into improving their facilities.

Jeff Stanford from Asquith Day Nurseries – which has invested £4million in digital technology – defended the move, saying: ‘It makes children comfortable and familiar with the technology and that is extremely useful when they start school.’

But literacy expert Sue Palmer said: ‘I think what children really need up to the age of seven is real life in real space and real time, which means three-dimensional experiences.

‘We already have problems with children not being able to hold a pen or pencil.

And Felicity Marrian, from Iverna Gardens Montessori in London, said: ‘If our children are in fact the most sedentary generation ever, according to the medical authorities, and already spend more time watching television than they do in school, do we really need to add computers and other screen-based devices to the nursery environment?’

A survey of 806 parents and early years staff carried out by website daynurseries.co.uk found that only 26 per cent believed that being exposed to technology actually benefits children in nurseries.

Davina Ludlow, director of daynurseries.co.uk, added: ‘Children are increasingly exposed to an overwhelming amount of technology at an early age.

‘The use of iPads in nurseries, which are displacing the traditional methods of learning and playing activities is concerning.

‘This poll shows that the majority of people clearly want to see early education and childhood play protected from this technological creep.’

Ms Palmer who is also the author of Toxic Childhood added:‘I think what children really need up to the age of seven is real life in real space and real time, which means three dimensional experiences.


Click on the link to read 5 Great Spelling Apps for Tablets and Smartphones

Click on the link to read Are Educators Being Conned by the i-Pad?

Click on the link to read The Best Phonics Apps for iPads

Click on the link to read Should Teachers be able to Text Students?

Click on the link to read 50 Ways To Use Skype In Your Classroom

Click on the link to read Top 10 Educational i-Pad Apps

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2 Responses to “Where iPads Fall Short in a Child’s Education”

  1. Lynne Diligent Says:

    I was feeling so shocked about one child I tutor who has exactly the problems you describe with holding a pen or pencil. I didn’t realize there were other teachers now having the same problem, so this was a very appreciated post for me. Thank you for writing about this.

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