Nearly all children under 4 have used mobile devices, U.S. study suggests

CBC News, Nov 02, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The study (9 Page PDF, press release) was actually limited to a low-income area of Philadelphia, so the sweeping conclusion in the headline should not be drawn. Nonetheless the study suggests wider adoption of mobile devices (though not necessarily smartphones) than previously expected; even as recently as 2013 a divide still existed in the same community. The publishers of the study urge limitations on child screen time, based on concerns about the impact on language learning. I'm not so sure I would jump to the same conclusion; music, audio, graphics and text are the core elements of communication, and exposing them to the child would, it seems to me, accelerate language learning. But having said that, I would urge that this be studied as soon as possible, so we have some data one way or another.

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