New study suggests that babies should be given iPads “from birth”
A new study performed at the University of London suggests that babies should be given access to tablet computers “from birth” to help them learn. The research is contradictory to previous studies that propose that looking at screens can cause damage to a child’s social skills.
The new study was led by Professor Annette Karmiloff-Smith, who noted, “It is shocking how fast they learn, even faster than adults to do thinks like scroll up and down and text.” Regarding comparisons of tablets to books, Karmiloff-Smith points out, “Books are static. When you observe babies with books, all they are interested in is the sound of the pages turning.” At a young age, the visual system is attracted to movement, making tablets a more compelling way to learn.
The study found that babies aged six and 10 months old could recognise the number three if it was shown to them on an iPad. Now, a larger study is underway involving hundreds of babies and toddlers. One group of children has been given access to tablets from birth, while the other group is not allowed to use them.
In the past, neurologist Baroness Susan Greenfield, formerly of the Royal Institution, warned that children’s exposure to computer screens and games could cause a form of “temporary dementia.”
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