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The Touch-Screen Generation

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I know Hanna Rosin can be annoying, but this is an outstanding piece in the new Atlantic on this generation of preschoolers and toddlers growing up with touch-screen tablets:


    It's a really balanced look - Rosin ultimately comes out, with caveats, in favor of their usage.

    I think she also does an outstanding job really articulating the apprehensions and the tug-of-war a lot of us feel when it comes to this technology and our children.

    Technological competence and sophistication have not, for parents, translated into comfort and ease. They have merely created yet another sphere that parents feel they have to navigate in exactly the right way. On the one hand, parents want their children to swim expertly in the digital stream that they will have to navigate all their lives; on the other hand, they fear that too much digital media, too early, will sink them. Parents end up treating tablets like precision surgical instruments, gadgets that might perform miracles for their child’s IQ and help him win some nifty robotics competition—but only if they are used just so. Otherwise, their child could end up one of those sad, pale creatures who can’t make eye contact and has an avatar for a girlfriend.
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    They had a YouTube video out there of a young kid (probably 4-5) picking up an Etch a Sketch and trying to act like it was a touch screen and getting very frustrated... I think they showed it on Kimmel a year or so ago...

    I must admit, the first time I ever saw touch screen technology was the iPod touch and I thought it was the coolest thing ever...
  3. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Not as funny as an Etch a Sketch, but my son did that to our MacBook a few days ago.

    Thing is, I'm sure that MacBooks without touch screens with be an utter anachronism a few years from now.
  4. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Apparently, we're just a couple years away from being able to do it without actually touching the screen. I think there may be a very high end TV out there that already has this.

    They've done something similar on a few TV shows, like NCIS LA, where they just move things in the air and it's reflected on the screen.

    I think that will be huge when it's available to the masses at a reasonable price.
  5. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    The Galaxy S4 is going to have some of that. Will be able to preview emails and navigate web pages and music tracks by waving your hand at it, rather than touching the screen. It's also supposed to have technology that pauses video when you look away from the screen.
  6. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    The Kindle Fire has been amazing for my three-year-old son. It's awesome for him and I have no qualms about letting him use it. I tend to lean toward that concerns being a mix of parents not liking things that are different from what they grew up with, and parents giving in to the "Baby Einstein" myth that there is just the right mix of exposures that will make the difference between Harvard and a HS dropout.

    He's had it for more than a year now, and took to it like a duck to water. I was floored by how quickly he learned to navigate it. Within days of getting it for Christmas in 2011, he was systematically going through every app we had installed and seeing which ones were of interest to him. Now he splits his time between playing games and watching videos (On Netflix or Youtube). He loves the Puzzingo game they mentioned in the article.

    His autism does make him an abnormal case, of course. His intellectual development has always been a mix of areas where he's deeply behind his peers and the occasional burst of brilliance that should be several years beyond him and stuns his teachers and therapists. A lot of those bursts are related to skills he learned playing Kindle games, usually ones that are rated for kids much older than he is.

    With his autism, everything's a difficult challenge between encouraging his strengths and trying to help him catch up on his weaknesses. His school and his therapy are mostly geared toward catching up where he's behind, so we try to let his home time be a focus on encouraging his strengths.

    Although it is funny when he goes to a house that has a TV and tries to change the channel by swiping his finger across it.
  7. Uncle.Ruckus

    Uncle.Ruckus Guest

    My 3-year-old regularly uses our Kindle Fire, iPad and iPhones. Has been since he was around 2.
  8. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    That can't possibly be true. Credit card scanners have used it for years.
  9. Uncle.Ruckus

    Uncle.Ruckus Guest

    You've never seen Die Hard?
  10. My local mall had kiosks like that in the '80s. The screen didn't always register when you tried pushing the right icon on the screen. I also remember using interfaces with a light pen that registered touches.
  11. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    My concern is basically based on my own experiences with interactive technology: It can destroy your attention span, particularly the ability to read quietly and deeply for lengths of time. Now, I don't play video games, but I've seen what they can do to college kids and so forth who essentially drop out because they can't pull themselves away.
  12. Uncle.Ruckus

    Uncle.Ruckus Guest

    You can't say video games are to blame for dropouts. 30 years ago, those kids might have developed a nasty coke habit or something.

    Correlation, causation, etc.
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