It amazes me that my toddler nephew is already a YouTube wiz. He remembers which videos are his favorites and knows how to close/skip ads. He even knows which videos are "inapoopiate" and avoids them. Although he'd rather watch kids play with toys than play with his own, I admire that he's already become this tech-savvy. What do you think about kids being exposed to technology at a such a young age?
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by:jorge diaz
Interesting post, i'm sure you'll get opinions on both side of the spectrum..  I personally don't think it's a good idea to expose kids to technology at a such young age, not to demonize youtube as i believe it has the same effect as watching tv or video games. I believe that at such early age kid's brain should be exploring and playing , i don't see the benefit in having them sit idle in front of a screen for hours watching other kids play... a sedentary life style is not good for adults, let alone for kids who are just developing physically and psychologically.
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by:Brian Matis
I'm curious Katrina, what kind of device is he using?
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by:Kat Donegan
Brian, my nephew uses his mom's Android phone. It's funny watching his tiny little hands close ads and let out a huge sigh when he can't skip them.

I think it's all about finding a good balance. Some of my in-laws/friends don't allow their kids to touch any devices and they're not even okay with schools exposing kids to devices (tablets, smartphones, laptops, etc.). Yet some are okay with it mainly because it keeps their kids quiet and out of their way. For me, I like the early exposure because there's a higher chance they will get a career in tech. My sister and I were exposed to all kinds of technologies when we were kids and naturally, we were drawn to the tech world and have careers in tech. I personally love the advancement of technologies and robots taking over the world, but another discussion. :)
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by:Kyle Santos
Incremental use should be fine I think.  Just steer clear of the YouTube comments section.  That place is typically a cesspool of nastiness.
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by:Kat Donegan
Thankfully he can't read yet! On another note, I know what to get him for Christmas since he's been watching this kid play with this toy over and over and over...
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by:Craig Kehler
I think it is important to focus on real interactions with actual physical 3 dimensional objects early on. The day my 2 year old daughter said "We need oxiclean" the TV was ripped out and thrown in the garage. I gave up watching sports that day. We didn't want that absorbent mind filled with TV commercials.

We studied a lot of the findings of Maria Montessori. Check this out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montessori_education#Planes_of_development
My son built a 6' tall structure with cylinder blocks when he was still in diapers. I was absolutely amazed to walk in the room and find him smiling as he lifted the smaller cylinders and snuck the biggest one underneath it. We saw great success with freedom and age appropriate materials to experiment with.

And later when it came to tech, he picked it up just fine. He helps adults understand how to use their devices. :)
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by:Kyle Santos
I think it is important to focus on real interactions with actual physical 3 dimensional objects early on.
Definitely agree.  I've heard this a lot.  I try to take my little guy as much as possible to parks, on walks and play in the backyard with his toys.
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by:Kat Donegan
Nothing beats old school Legos and Barbies! What is a bit sad is my nieces and nephews have a ton of toys yet they would rather use a tablet/phone. For those who like to play educational games on it, sure, but some of them just watch YouTube like zombies.
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by:Craig Kehler
Legos, my son's version of caltrops for his room

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by:Brian Matis
In the debate of tablet use vs. physical toys, I really like the opportunities to blend the two. Like how Apple is having their Swift Playgrounds app integrate with Legos and more, so that a child can learn programming on the tablet and use it to control real-world objects :-)

Oh, and when I say that it seems great for a child, I also totally want these toys for myself ;-)
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by:Kat Donegan
Yup! It's all about balance and of course what they're actually doing on the device itself. I'm loving all these programming toys that have been coming out lately.
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by:Juana Villa
I think it is good that kids are learning how to use technology. However, I think there should be a balance where the kid learns to use technology as a tool, learns social skills, and spends most of his/her time being active.

I don't think technology is bad. The problem is that even WE as an adults don't even know how to use it properly.
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