Parents - What are your thoughts on iPhone / iPad as an educational tool?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by pennyhill, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. pennyhill macrumors newbie

    Jan 26, 2013
    Hi everyone!

    I am hoping to get a feel for how other parents are using the iPhone/iPad as an educational tool for their kid(s). It seems like there are a ton of options to keep track of: edu games in the Apple App Store, eBooks, videos on the web like Khan Academy, etc.

    If you use anything like this, is it a pain to find the good stuff?

    I know this is a little off topic so thanks for reading and an ever bigger thanks if you reply!
  2. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    They can be great tools, and often they are. But to be honest I don't think you're going to be using it as much for an educational tool as you might think. I'd be surprised if your child actively seeks to watch new khan academy videos and stuff. I'm not saying its unlikely, but I think most children would rather do something "fun". So what I think might end up happening - the device won't be used because there's nothing but "boring" educational stuff, or it'll be used for what most people use it, as entertainment ... swerving away from your original purpose. There are plenty of things that are educational on the internet that can be accessed from a computer (including Khan academy), which you probably already have. Not a parent but I wouldn't want my child hooked on these things at an early age, and Khan Academy can be accessed on the computer. And there are plenty of educational game sites online. I wouldn't want my child to read a book on such a screen. I don't even like doing it myself.

    Not sure about the child's age, but I'm sure some day he'll want one anyways. No point in rushing it imo.
  3. Abazigal macrumors G4


    Jul 18, 2011
    There's tons of them. You have learning A-Z (raz kids on the web), spelling city, a myriad of math apps and so on. To me, education isn't just learning how to spell or add from an app, but also learning to construct new content.

    For instance, getting your child to use imovie to put together his own clip, or create a recording to show you how he might solve and explain a particular math problem using educreations (say go around taking pictures of parallel and perpendicular lines and making a lesson clip from there). Or even using keynote to create a digital story.

    In this aspect, I feel a tablet has the advantage in that a touch interface would be more intuitive and easier for a child to master, compared to the more cumbersome keyboard+mouse setup. That plus IOS is easier to pick up than windows, so your child spends less time having to learn the interface, and more time actually doing stuff.

    For reading and stuff, call me old fashioned (though I am not married), but I still believe in spending personal time reading with a child. The ipad is there to let the kid do things you normally cannot do, not replace the parent.
  4. AFDoc macrumors 68030

    Jun 29, 2012
    Colorado Springs USA for now
    My youngest are 7 and 10 so they don't use the i's for much educational material any more. My 10 year old is on the spectrum and I've heard a lot of parents using it for their autistic kids but we are fortunate and didn't need anything like this to "help" him. There are tons of educational apps out there so just look through the app store and check it out.
  5. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    I think its a great idea.
    iPads and the iOS in general is so easy to learn and use that kids just love to touch and play with it. There's plenty of educational, learning games and activities and Im looking forward to more tools and apps to be released for kids in the future. I noticed at the Apple store they have a kids section with the little table and ball chairs. Not sure if every Apple store has that but they have some really cool games for kids installed on those ipads. Next time Im going to take the names of those apps so I can grab them for my little ones.
  6. Sital macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2012
    New England
    I think the iPad is more of an entertainment device than an educational tool, but it still can be handy. I have 2 teenagers. My older one uses the iPad for about 75% entertainment and 25% schoolwork. My younger one is at 100% / 0%.

    Of course, they both use computers for their schoolwork so I wouldn't expect them to use the iPad for school as well.
  7. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I think that they can be great supplements to the learning process.
  8. chrscap macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2012
    My son is 3 years old and already know how to work his way around iOS and Android OS. I got a bunch of learning apps. Right now I have him training how to write letters and numbers. Excellent tool.
  9. Fattytail macrumors 6502a

    Apr 11, 2012
    Do any of you have concerns about the negative impact of these devices on youngsters? Just curious. Parent here myself, although mine isn't old enough to know what an iPad is yet.

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