Electronics are not parents

August 7, 2007 at 1:57 pm | Posted in Entertaining | Leave a comment

This probably isn’t news to anyone, but researchers are telling us again that we can’t expect electronics to be as good as people where kids are concerned.

This article in Time is  specifically focused on education videos aimed at babies and toddlers, such as “Baby Einstein”, and shows that spending time in front of these videos actually slows children’s language acquisition.

My bet is that despite its interactive qualities, the PC would have similar results with tiny kids. Babies and toddlers seem to learn language by watching our faces, listening to our voices, and being touched and encouraged at the same time. It’s not just a multimedia experience; it’s a physical, emotional, and mental one combined. It makes sense that a TV set can’t duplicate that experience.

When I was eight years old, I did learn to count to ten in Spanish from a particularly memorable song on Sesame Street, as did the valedictorian of my college class. I get the feeling that for older kids, educational videos have some merit; but it seems that for tiny babies and toddlers nothing can substitute for a human being.  

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