What's the youngest age an ipad is useful as a learning tool?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by marc55, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. marc55 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 14, 2011
    Just wondering how many of you guys use the ipad as an educational tool for your children, and what's the youngest age it has proven to be a good educational tool.

    Also what apps are available for younger children, let' say 5-9

    Thank you
  2. mrm3 macrumors newbie

    Oct 23, 2007
    3 onwards...
  3. jsh1120 macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2011
    My daughter was six when we got the iPad 2. She uses it frequently with a wealth of apps designed specifically for her age group. You might want to check out the website "MomsWithApps" as well as the iPad app that accesses the website.

    I have to say that if the tablet were a purely personal device for me, I might well opt for the Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet. It has a number of advantages over the iPad for a business user. But because the iPad is a "family" device, the wealth of apps for kids was (and is) the deciding factor in our household.
  4. Blakjack macrumors 68000


    Jun 23, 2009
    1 on up. My nephew is 14 mths and is a swiping and tapping fool.
  5. Buckeyestar macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2011
    My nephew figured out pinch to zoom and picture swiping before he was 2 years old with no help. He also learned to recognize the difference between a photo and a video in my camera roll.
  6. Pete the Geek macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2011
    Sioux Lookout
    I've used an iPad in an SK (senior kindergarten) class, so 5 years old. There are plenty of "Kindergarten" apps. Kids really enjoy the "beauty" apps such as Fluid Monkey, Fluid 2, Fluidity. Educational apps: Sight Word Bingo, Shapes, 123 Counting, Magnetic ABC, Dot-to-Dot Numbers and Letters. They also enjoy games aimed at older kids, such as "Math Bingo". For some music try aXylophone.

    I'd appreciate additional suggestions to try. My focus is math, but when I work with the youngest kids, I mostly just want to show them something fun.

    I should point out that with the iOS 5 gestures, there are issues with some apps (particularly the "beauty" apps) when multiple children are poking the screen at once. These are seen as gestures by iOS and cause all sorts of glitches such as switching apps, the Notification Centre coming down, etc. When I have a few moments, I am going to figure out what settings I have to change to completely disable gestures.

    Finally, for infants and toddlers, the best app is the camera, set on mirror so they can look at themselves!
  7. Vudoo macrumors 6502a


    Sep 30, 2008
    Dallas Metroplex
    My friend's 3 year old has been using an iPad since he was 2. Kids grow up so fast these days. :D
  8. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    One wonders if there should be some close monitoring of children with parents who use these things from a very young age.
    We are really playing with fire here, and it could have a very strong influence, not necessarily a positive one, on the development of a very young child's brain.

    When kids should be learning and creating the ability to picture things in their mind and to imagine things, they are going to tap a button for instant gratification.

    We could end up with VERY impatient kids with forms of ADD. We don't really have a clue what we are doing here with this.
  9. Cristian macrumors 6502


    Dec 11, 2006
    El Paso, TX
    My daughter is 2 and is a puzzle master. Her eye hand coordination has gotten a lot better and she can name all sorts of animals and objects. It's awesome.
  10. jackc macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003
  11. Buckeyestar macrumors 6502a


    Sep 17, 2011
    My nephew is similar, he is far ahead of others his age at daycare. His maternal grandmother is buying him an iPod touch for Christmas.
  12. mooseknuckles macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2010
    My daughter is 2 now and has been using it under controlled supervision with limited time since she was 1. Memory puzzles, coloring, interactive books and streaming PBS is just a few of her current favorites that she navigates to.
  13. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Really? What studies have you done to back up this claim?
  14. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I get what you're saying (I have a 3.5 year old) but it's really more like, toddlers are a lot smarter than we thought/think. But anyone who has had one knows how mind blowing it is to see them learn things so, so fast.
  15. Pete the Geek macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2011
    Sioux Lookout
    I appreciate your concern, but the use of iPads in the education of children is not as haphazard as it may seem. I've had literally years of training and have attended dozens of workshops on the issues of technology in education. I'm still learning, hence my frequent visits to MacRumours forum. There is a world full of caring, compassionate educators who only want the very best for young children. And many of them are using technology such as iPad.

    Schools answer to parents and taxpayers. No school is going to deploy expensive technology unless there is compelling research behind it. For the youngest children, parents must take an active role when the child is using the iPad. Like any technology, parents must ensure that the apps are appropriate and that the child is using the device suitably.
  16. nastebu macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2008
    The American Association of Pediatrics recommends very strongly against screen time for kids under two. They are mostly focused on television; there's been very little research on ipads and more interactive game-type things. But in general this position is accepted. Here's a link to an article that covers TV: http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/reprint/pediatrics;107/2/423.pdf

    The poster was talking about kids younger than school age, I thought.

    As for your second point, I'm not so sure. There's been a few articles in the NYT lately about how little evidence there is that technology improves learning, or that money spent on technology is well spent.

    http://query.nytimes.com/search/sitesearch?query=technology in the classroom
  17. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    Not trying to defend the iPad or tablets in general, but that study is meaningless in this discussion. It's clearly focused on television CONTENT and not the television itself.

    Just because some of us go ADD with our iPads doesn't mean the iPad itself is the cause of ADD or that we even have any reason to be concerned. Like with many things in life, the iPad can be either helpful or harmful depending on the guidance given. I could see the iPad being quite a helpful educational tool for child development precisely because of the fact that it gives instant feedback.
  18. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Absolutely none, and that is exactly my point.

    Unfortunately, Humans are unfortunately by design pretty stupid. We tend to do something and see what happens, or think what's best for today and not worry about 5 or 20 years time.

    For the majority of us here, we were born for the most part away from instant gratification computers and Internet. We played with physical toys, read books, used our minds and imagination, as humans babies/young children have done for hundreds of thousands of years.

    Now, without any knowledge whatsoever, we have parents who think it's cool to give an iPad to a baby who'd brain is being wired together by nature in the early years, and these parents don't have a clue what effect it's going to have on their child as it grows up.

    But hey, let's just do it anyway, we'll worry about that if things go wrong. Perhaps we can always label our child as having some social interaction disorder in another 5 or 10 years.

    I've no idea what effect an iPad at 18 months is going to have at age 10.
    And the problem is, no-one else does.

    Naturally it's going to depend greatly on how the parents (and let's be honest, we all know some really dumb parents) use such things.
    Do they spend lots and lots of real quality time with their child, helping them to read, write, make things, play imaginary games with them. Build things, paint things. And perhaps fit an iPad in as a small part of it. Which I'd guess would be great.

    Or, more lightly do they just let the kid spend too much time with a device like the iPad, which will become more and more time, as over the months/years the child starts to get stroppy and cry when you take the device away from them.
    And just leave them to it, whilst the parents get on with things they want to do, rather than spending quality time with their child.

    In the same way, do you let your young child have 1 hour of TV, or do you just dump the kid in front of cartoon network all day as it's easier for you as a parent and it keeps them quiet.
  19. Mac.World macrumors 68000


    Jan 9, 2011
    In front of uranus
    Autistic and severe down syndrome kids are using the iPad to help them and there has been quite a bit of success. While there is the possibility of what you are mentioning here happening, I don't believe it will. The iPad is simply a tool for educators and parents to help teach children. And so far, all those studies have shown that grades and learning improve with the use of the iPad. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...2hCEyuwAlnSuXC6Sw&sig2=VrsdwoVsczRB2Dgqcsmycg
  20. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Whilst I have no doubt at all that devices such as the iPad, in fact ANY computing device that can aid children can be a very very good thing when used correctly.
    We also must admit, we have no idea whatsoever what effects giving an iPad to an 18 month baby will have to it, in another 10 years time.

    We may breed a generation of rocket scientists, or we may breed a generation of people who have zero patience, want everything to happen instantly and have many problems dealing in the real world which is boring, mundane and you have to wait for things to happen.

    As I said in my previous post, a computing device, used as a tool, in combination with excellent parenting is probably going to be an excellent thing.
    Unfortunately we know many parents, esp these days are busy people, and for some it's going to be easier and easier to just let "baby/toddler play" with the iPad as it shuts them up, and they start crying when you take it away from them.

    It does not take an Einstein to understand this could very well cause difficulties as a child grows up, demanding things happen NOW!

    This in a strange way reminds me of an incredibly fussy, and I mean INCREDIBLY fussy eater who I knew from the age of 8 to 14. His Mum and Nan used to make him special dinners as he did not want to eat what others were having. Then I watched some old home movies of him as a young toddler, who didn't fancy what food he had, and we watched Nanny saying, oh, baby don't you like that? Let Nanny get you something else that you do like.
    Probably setting the idea in his mind from that very young age, that by saying no, then he's get something better, which he did, and this had carried on till his early teen years.
  21. Mac.World macrumors 68000


    Jan 9, 2011
    In front of uranus
    Well, without proper parenting, any point made here is moot. I provide my teenage son all the tools he needs in order to be successful in school. He has access to my Mac's and he has his own iPad. I'm sure some parents could use an ipad as a baby sitter, but how is it any different than a tv or dvd player?
  22. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Exactly. And you made the key point "Proper Parenting"

    Unfortunately (and I think you may well agree with this) It's only too obvious that it's going to become easier and easier for many parents to just leave their child with their iPad (for example) and it keeps them quiet, in fact causing crying, screaming and tantrums when you attempt to take it away from them.

    Agreed, TV etc, is bad also, but I think most here would agree, Things like computers/tablets etc are much more addictive than TV even.
    I don't know many kids, even from my era that used to shut themselves away in their room to watch TV. We watched a bit and then wanted to go out and play, or in my case, made things and helped my day with some simple DIY around the house.

    I consider myself lucky that I developed before there were electronic things around so much, so I did have a "Proper" childhood, out on my bike, climbed trees with my mates, went round their homes and played with toy cars, played on swings etc over the park.
    After I'd "developed" so to speak, then the computers came into my life, so I feel I had, if you like a solid backing to my mind.
    I do have patience, I can wait for things, I know if I wait a week a sale will be on, so I won't buy it today even though I want it (so to speak)

    Whilst I'm sure, YOU are a good parent, you only have to look at the "general population" to realise there are a hell of a lot that are not, and are more interested in what they want to do than spending real long quality time with their kids, and for whom a Tablet, such as the iPad may after a while be the easy say to shut junior up, and it's all junior does, almost.
  23. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2010
    My boy was 15 months when he understood to "swipe" and unlock my iPhone and tap the screen to interact.

    He gets my phone at every opportunity so I'll get the iPad3 when it comes out as he will be nearly 2 then and its not worth investing in the iPad2 at the moment.

    So to summarise you're never to young to learn :up:
  24. bp1000 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2011
    Mine started when she was 2

    Now at 3 she has her own iPhone in airplane mode and uses our iPad.

    Her favourite things are 1) books 2) iPad

    I agree if all your child does is watch youtube or videos on the iPad it is probably not that great. Her favourite things to do on the iPad are puzzles, memory tiles / snap and colouring. All creative things and she has picked up new words and letter sounds from doing this.

    In my book, that is a superb achievement.

    It is also interesting to watch her use my old Android phone. She tries for a few minutes to turn it on, unlock the screen etc, or to do simple things like go back a step, go back to the home screen or even turn the volume up. She gets frustrated and just puts it down. It had 4 physical buttons and 4 software buttons. The iPhone only has 1 button for operation whilst it is turned on.
  25. Thetonyk123 macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2011

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