Posts tagged ‘iPad’
PARIS: Twenty-two-month-old George sits on a tiny blue chair, at a baby-sized desk, playing with a grown-up toy — an iPad, sign of a powerful trend that has set alarm bells ringing among child development experts.
Leaning over the tablet, the little Parisian finger stabs the duck icon on “Moo Box”, an application with animal images that let out moos, oinks and barks.
For his mother Aurelie Mercier, 32, the beauty of iPad apps is they can expand her son’s world, like a virtual piano that lets him play music in the absence of the real thing.
“It’s a window onto tons of things that we don’t have at home and that can be condensed into a very small object,” she told AFP.
Fuelled by the likes of George, the number of baby and toddler apps is booming, according to Heather Leister who has reviewed child applications at US website theiphonemom.com since 2009.
But psychologists and parents are divided on putting smartphones and tablets into such young hands, a high-stakes issue considering how pivotal the first couple of years are to child development.
Experts at a panel discussion in New York last month entitled “Baby Brains and Video Games” urged parents to set limits on electronic device use — while acknowledging the magnetic appeal of iPads in particular.
“You can’t pull it from their hands,” said panellist Warren Buckleitner, editor of the Children’s Technology Review.
George, who spends a half hour per week with the iPad, first asked for it at 10 months by pointing and cooing in its direction.
Both graphic artists, his parents recently developed their first app, which generates firework-like images to save as screenshots.
Though geared towards adults, Mercier lets George play with it, talking softly as he sends yellow stars swirling around the screen.
Now they have seen first-hand what toddlers like — catchy colours, sound, large buttons, simplicity — the pair plan to develop child-friendly apps.
“We’ll use George as our beta-tester,” Mercier said. “We’re counting on him to give good advice!”
For Katie Linendoll, a CNN technology expert in New York, apps are “the ultimate babysitter”. Her favourites for using with her toddler niece — in moderation — include “Crazy Piano!” and “Crayola Color Studio HD”, a high-tech colouring book where animals move once coloured.
“If you have an app that’s simple to understand, a kid will run with that,” Linendoll told AFP.
But some parents worry about computer culture interfering with the way their children play with conventional toys.
Sarah Rotman Epps, a Boston-based consumer technology analyst, said her two-year-old son “loves drawing on paper with crayons.
“But he gets very frustrated when the pictures don’t move, and I think that is really coming from the pervasive culture of video and animation.”
In a nutshell: a hit YouTube video dubbed “A Magazine is an iPad that Does Not Work” shows a one-year-old trying in vain to scroll tablet-style through a print publication on her lap.
This is what troubles Paris child psychiatrist Serge Tisseron who worries apps fail to teach children to properly apprehend three-dimensional space, a key developmental milestone.
“We know the toddler absolutely needs to engage all his senses,” he said.
Tisseron is by no means anti-technology — the 64-year-old is himself an avid video gamer — but until more research has been carried out he recommends keeping screens out of baby hands.
In the first two years of life the brain triples in size, synapses forming as young children experiment with objects they sniff, bite and throw.
Despite the iPhone and iPad’s much-lauded interactivity, Tisseron says they remain limited in terms of sensory experience: they can engage sight, hearing and touch — to an extent — but not taste or smell.
That’s where the simplest of toys, and baby games with no set rules, are crucial, says Texas paediatrician Ari Brown, lead author of a 2011 American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) report on screen use by children under two.
“There are some pretty good apps and activities that encourage problem solving, memory, ordering, sequencing — virtual versions of games we used to play as kids,” Brown said.
But “no app can replace the value in taking two blocks and figuring out how to stack them one on top of the other.”
The AAP discourages passive television viewing in this age group, but the jury is still out on smartphone use, as the technology is so new that long-term research is not yet available. Apple’s app store opened in 2008 and the iPad came out in 2010.
Brown suggests the main danger is a kind of opportunity cost: when youngsters play with iPads, they are not engaged in what may be more beneficial.
That view is shared by Jean-Philippe Vieira, 46, a Paris-area cook who has neither a tablet nor mobile phone and limits his children’s television time to 20 minutes on Friday.
He believes toddlers need space to invent their own games, the way he did growing up in Portugal: “There were moments when we had nothing to do, but that was great because when you do nothing, you come up with ways to occupy yourself.”
“You don’t need technology to play,” Vieira told AFP in a park full of yelling children.
Vieira, whose sons are three, six and eight, cautions against ushering children into a virtual world and is troubled by the idea of parents using the iPad as babysitter.
“Those who want to continue the life they led while single without children, well it’s true these games can be the answer,” he said. “But is it the right answer?”
But for George’s mother Mercier, who never leaves her son unattended with the tablet, there is no harm in moderate use spaced out by other kinds of play.
In their case, keeping tabs on device use meant moving all the screens in their home behind a closed door, an out-of-sight-out-of-mind tactic to keep George from craving technology.
“But seeing as we live in a society with screens everywhere, I don’t think I should keep him from playing with it.”
“4岁宝宝近视200度，小朋友视力从1.0降到0.5，眼科诊室外孩子排排坐……他们是‘iPad控’，切水果、读童话、看动画都离不开iPad，遭遇 了视力‘毒苹果’。”近日，一条题为“iPad成儿童视力第一杀手”的微博引发众多父母关注。天津市眼科专家在接受晚报采访时表示，新兴电子产品的确给儿 童视力带来了不良影响。
在天津市一家幼儿园门口，刚从园所把孩子接出来的一位家长从包中拿出iPad，孩子欢欢喜喜地接过iPad，坐在自家轿车的后座上，开始了回家路途中的游 戏时光。这是记者在采访中看到的一幕。在写字楼工作的张女士称，“手机是3岁女儿每天都要玩的‘电子玩具’，女儿还爱在电脑上玩小游戏，家里老人看到孩子 这么小就玩电脑，都夸孩子聪明。”采访中，记者来到鞍山西道数码卖场，一位经营平板电脑的销售人员，听到记者咨询其是否适用于孩子的问题后说道：“很多顾 客购买iPad都是给孩子的，液晶屏幕没有辐射，不仅能玩游戏、看动画片，还能装上儿童趣味教育软件，当早教机使，特别适合小孩子用。”
一边是新兴电子产品不断涌向市场，家长们纷纷给孩子添置，而另一边却是因为电子产品的盲目使用，儿童视力受到了严重影响。天津市眼科医院视光中心主任李丽 华日前接受采访时告诉记者，很多家长在孩子使用电子产品问题上存在一定误区，忽略了对孩子视力的伤害。近一两年内，特别是今年寒假过后，因玩ipad、手 机等新兴电子产品而导致视力急剧下降的孩子在增多。表现为视力下降、好动、注意力不集中，开学后学习状态不佳等，来医院检查普遍是视力下降、频繁眨眼、挤 眼，大多数就诊及时的孩子表现为假性近视，也有一些孩子由于视力下降时间比较长了，假性近视已经变为了真性近视。
李丽华主任认为，相对于成年人，儿童视力更容易受到ipad、手机、电脑等电子设备的伤害。儿童是在视力发育的敏感期，要为儿童提供正常的、利于视力发育 的视觉环境，同时考虑儿童视力发育的特点。“如2岁的孩子仅有0.4的视力，长期的阅读、玩游戏会造成其发育过快，视觉疲劳，进而出现近视，就好像2岁孩 子让他做5岁孩子的工作，其身体没有发育完全不能接受一样，这等于是拔苗助长。孩子幼儿期应该以看远为主，看大的物体为主，减少视频终端刺激。”
另外，李丽华还建议儿童使用电子产品时，家长应把好孩子用眼安全关。“不能不让孩子游戏，但要严格控制时间和距离。如每次30分钟，在自然光明亮的环境 下，选择对比敏感度好而且大的视标，不要有频闪。在距离上尽量达到40厘米或更远，而且不要过分低头，最好能够正视。”与此同时，孩子减少甜食和碳酸饮料 的摄入，多吃新鲜的蔬菜和水果，多做户外活动、晒太阳，也有助于视力的保护。
小学生上课，全体用iPad，会产生怎样的效果？有媒体报道说，上海卢湾一小已经在试点iPad教学，当做辅助工具。校长吴蓉瑾说，此前学校把 练习题印在纸上，耗费纸张惊人，教学反馈速度也比较慢。在采用新技术后，学生直接在触摸屏上答题，借助覆盖全校的无线网络，任课教师可以在后台系统看到每 个学生的答题情况，掌握全班答题情况的分析数据，并根据实时反馈进行讲解，为不同学生布置不同星级的练习题。
无独有偶，宝岛台湾中小学也看中了iPad的教育效果，新竹市青草湖国小是台湾第一所一至三年级学生都有iPad的学校，首期送出二百余台，让 小学生们开心不已。未来将视试办成果，逐步扩展至其它学校。教育网络中心将探索以电子书包App进行音乐与美术教学，并尝试开发或导入国语笔顺教学、数学 在线测验等教学工具。
长时间使用iPad是否会对眼睛有影响呢？医生解释说，LED背光源会使得iPad2的亮度更高，瞳孔会不断进行收缩来适应光源的变化。调节瞳 孔的睫状肌会一直保持紧张状态。同时，由于电子屏幕的不断闪烁，眼睛的睫状肌必须频繁运动。睫状肌长时间得不到松弛，高度紧张，使晶状体过度屈曲，增加屈 光度，时间一长可导致睫状肌痉挛，造成调节性近视。若不及时防治，很快就会演变成真性近视。
长时间盯住屏幕，会使得眼睛眨眼次数减少，而通过眼睑的作用将泪液均匀分布于角膜表面的功能降低，泪液蒸发更快。眼部干涩不适形成干眼症，严重 者可发生角膜炎或结膜炎。干眼症还会由于眼表泪膜的不均匀，导致视觉质量下降，波前像差异常。再加上，小孩子在玩游戏时不会注意正确坐姿，这对颈椎和脊柱 的发育都有着很大的影响。在精神方面也会产生游戏瘾，不利于孩子的心理健康。因此，长时间地玩游戏不仅仅是会对视力、视觉造成影响，更会对孩子骨骼、心理 等方面造成更多的负面效应。
ELECTRONIC tablets like the iPad are a revolutionary educational tool and are becoming part of childhood, but should be watched carefully so that overuse doesn’t lead to learning or behavioural problems, experts say.
“It’s a topic that really emerged in the last two years. You can’t pull it from their hands,” Warren Buckleitner, editor of the New Jersey (US)-based Children’s Technology Review, said last week at a New York panel titled Baby Brains And Video Games.
According to a late 2011 survey of 2,200 parents and children in Britain and the United States, 15% of kids between three and eight had used their parents’ iPad, 9% had their own iPad, while 20% had their own iPod.
The same study, by the marketing agency Kids Industries, found 77% of parents believed that using tablets was beneficial for their children and the same number thought the gadgets helped develop creativity.
Amid warnings from some researchers that tablets can cause developmental difficulties and problems including autism or attention deficit disorder, experts at the forum recommended not rushing to judgment.
“Technology fosters some things and dampens others,” Rosemarie Truglio, from the children’s TV producers Sesame Workshop, said.
“It’s definitely about balance.”
Lisa Guernsey, director of the Early Education Initiative at the New American Foundation, said that critics blaming devices like the iPad for child developmental problems should differentiate “between a cause and an association”.
Still, Guernsey, author of Screen Time: How Electronic Media – From Baby Videos To Educational Software – Affects Your Young Child, urged parents to establish limits on use of electronic devices.
“Can they focus on a conversation, not look at a screen for 30 minutes?” she asked.
Truglio noted that “researchers have proven that they need adult-child interaction”, in addition to the electronic helper.
“Interactive doesn’t mean educational,” she said.
Annie Murphy Paul, author of How The Nine Months Before Birth Shape The Rest Of Our Lives, said there’s no need to panic.
“Your brain is changing all the time, each time you learn something new,” she said.
But Paul said she strictly controls her own offspring’s access to such devices and remains concerned “about the value” for small children.
For Buckleitner, it’s all a question of balance. Don’t let the iPad become an electronic babysitter. But it can be “a shelf of toys. It could be a lot of things,” she said. “Trust your gut.”
Read More: AsiaOne
(Credit: Screenshot by Elizabeth Armstrong Moore/CNET)
by Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
The journal says its weekly print issue is now enhanced on the iPad with audio, expandable images, and search, share, and notation features.
The New England Journal of Medicine, the oldest continuously published medical journal in the world (it celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2012), is now offering up its content on the iPad.
The journal says the iPad edition of its weekly, peer-reviewed content includes audio, video, expandable images, and features such as sharing, searching, and notating.
“We know that you’re busy, and you want to have the relevant clinical information you need, right at your fingertips,” reported the journal on its blog this week.
The app is available free for download at the iTunes App Store. Current journal subscribers get free access to the iPad edition, while anyone can view and navigate one fully functional issue for free. App-only subscribers can access single issues for $5.99 and ongoing subscriptions, which are renewed automatically, for $14.99 a month.
The iPad edition enables users to share content via Facebook, Twitter, or email. Bookmarking articles, images, and figures is made easy with a notation feature, and every downloaded issue (available on Thursdays) is automatically organized within the app’s personal user library for future reference and easy searching.