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Toddlers - A New Demographic?


Sep 25th 2011 at 12:57pm by Harold Everton

Harold Everton

Harold Everton, MBA MS ED is an entrepreneur and tech enthusiast who runs several websites. He is also an educator, professional recording artist and commercial actor. Follow him on Twitter.

It is totally understandable the apprehension and skepticism a parent might have about their child jumping on the mobile tech bandwagon, but this is not stopping mobile developers from targeting this audience with apps meant to educate, inspire and encourage creativity. Tablets can offer a unique experience, way beyond the age-old Etch-A-Sketch, allowing tots to use their hands, eyes and ears for interaction.


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Up until recently, children's apps were primarily centered around basic flash card and memory games. Now we have apps which introduce kids to colors, the different animals, various mathematics concepts, their ABCs, various languages, drawing and playing games. Generation Y mothers are rapidly embracing the technology for their kids according to some studies, with some 35 percent of having played with a tablet or laptop by age 2 (PC Magazine Study, Aug 2011). Typically, by the second or third time they've interacted with a mobile device, they've "mastered" it. This rapid adoption isn't without its critics of course.


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Plenty of Old-Schoolers prefer their children learn to use a pen and paper first (the "original tablets" if you will), before jumping on the tech bandwagon. NYC Public School Kindergarten Teacher, Myra Dobbs says, "These children are walking with all kinds of experience operating devices, usually knowing how to use them better than the adults. Sometimes, they help me if I get lost. I do remember playing plenty educational games on classroom computers I was a child, so think we should embrace this technology if it is going to promote learning. Make no mistake, this will not replace any traditional learning methods, just allow for more options to reach the same goal".


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Companies like Disney and Sesame Street are releasing Digital Books for children. Advance Corp has "Kids First Game" which allows kids to put together animals in a puzzle like fashion, and then plays back the sounds the animals make along with facts about them when the kids piece them together successfully. The marketplace is now flooded with thousands of apps geared towards toddlers and young children. While no one expects parents to throw away the bedtime stories and schools very much require reading the old-fashion way, parents now have another tool in educating their children and immersing them in technology.


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