Technological breakthroughs in communication and electronic gadgets have not only invaded personal lives but are now also part of the fabric of education. iPads, iPhones, iPod and Android based devices are not only pieces of handheld gadgets that offer amazing benefits from communication to entertainment, but these products have also become important educational tools as well. At the current pace where more school, colleges, and universities are requiring students to have an iPad or tablets of any operating system, it is inevitable that soon, it will become universal as part of educational requirements. This brings us to the question if it is alright for pre-schoolers to use the iPad mini as a learning instruction tool.
Possible Basis of Using iPad Mini for Preschoolers
In a recent study conducted by appsinmypocket.com, it was revealed that more than 80 percent among respondents are supportive of the idea of using iPads as a learning tool in elementary and pre-school education. In addition, 18 percent of pre-school institutions have already started or are in trial mode using this gadget to teach kids in the pre-school level. More and more people are getting convinced that iPad technology should be introduced to kids at an appropriate age, in this case, preschool years.
As a learning tool, the iPad mini has several things to offer such as:
- Customised learning – kids and students have different levels and capacity when it comes to learning. Thus, the teacher can prepare apps and materials through this device that is student specific based on the learning needs of the learner.
- Suitable for different degrees of attention span – with so many apps that can be downloaded free or with a fee, the teacher or even parents can give kids stimulating iPad moments where it addresses kid’s short span of attention and at the same time incorporate the learning process.
- Enhance creative process – there are numerous interactive apps that can be used where kids can simulate basic learning activities like reading, writing, and counting. More specific apps like dance apps, children’s books, and sound and speaking apps can help enhance what kids learn in school.
Despite the huge benefits kids, teachers, and parents can gain with the iPad mini as a preschool learning tool, there are several reasons why a number of people are not convinced that this gadget should be introduced to kids.
- It is tantamount to substituting traditional learning environment from a teacher to student interaction into a student to gadget dependability. However, one must take note that the gadget is used only as one of the learning aids teachers can opt to in the same manner that blackboards, flipcharts, videos, and books are utilised.
- Kids might accidentally tap on apps or content with adult or other sensitive material. But with so many free applications on child lock and material filtering, this can be addressed easily.
- It will be another financial burden for parents when it is part of pre-school requirements. The argument here is that learning benefits are not quantifiable.
- Kids are still too young to be exposed with complicated gadgets. The flaw on this logic is that pre-school kids will not view it as a gadget but rather as a toy. With the right guidance by both parents and teachers, kids can learn many things just like they learn how to bounce ball, shoot a gun, and take care of dolls, among others, with their usual toys.
- Increased dependency to short attention span activities and high stimulation activities.
The iPad mini and other similar products are dynamic gadgets. It is not surprising that a rising number of academic institutions and professionals will look at it as an excellent learning tool for their students. Although there are upsides and downsides to its usage, just like other learning tools, it is up for the teacher to determine which of these learning tools are appropriate in a specific learning environment and for how far to integrate them.
It cannot be avoided that personal aspects of our lives encroach professional areas and vice versa. Sometimes the intention is intentional and at times it is unconsciously done. Take for example office supplies. In many cases, an employee may not be aware that he or she has placed writing pens inside their bag when leaving from the office and use the same instrument to write down personal notes at home. While there are office policies governing the use of office supplies for personal use, can the same be done when personal items are also used for office work? This brings us now to the question of whether it is alright for an employee to hook up personal gadgets such as an iPhone, iPad, and iPod to company Wi-Fi connection.
Why is it Okay?
As an employee, you are entitled to several perks and benefits and that includes access to Wi-Fi connection, provided the employer allows it. But just like other benefits, the employee has a responsibility not to abuse and exploit the privilege by accessing untrustworthy sites including online sites which promote values opposite to what the company is promoting and engaging in personal online activities that do not affect work and even disrupts it. In practice, companies do allow employees to use company Internet connection but with reservations. The company has to set up firewall mechanisms to prevent employees from accessing social network sites or implementing policies with regards to use and misuse of Wi-Fi connections. It is the responsibility of the company to set up protection and must always assume that even if there are work policies that deals with it, employees will still attempt to have it their way such as through backdoor access.
Why is it not Okay?
It is a competitive world out there. You will never know what type of malware employees can acquire while browsing sites using their personal gadgets such as iPhone, iPad, and iPod. The employee might be putting confidential information at risk to the detriment of the company. The employee might also expose the whole system to several kinds of vulnerabilities that may hamper the whole business operation. If there is an absence of policies that governs web access via personal gadgets using work Internet connections, the company could be sending different signals to their staff. On the other hand, there might be other reasons which the company should look into if an employee spends a huge amount of time browsing the web using business Wi-Fi connections; there may be redundancies involved or an attitude problem with the staff.
What Should Be Done
It’s dependent on the industry you are in. In some cases businesses cannot ban employees from bringing personal gadgets to work. You cannot even forbid them not to use such during office hours. This issue merits an action though. However, any type of action plan should be agreed upon by both the organisation and the employees. When instituting rules for Wi-Fi connection, the employees must be consulted and should have a voice as to what type of policies must be implemented and how it is followed and monitored. The employees must own the policy as it affects them.
Let’s get some common sense from both employers and employees.
Parenting is a stressful job but not if your iPhone is equipped with essential applications. Here is a list of suggestions for you to consider.
This app helps locate all types of establishments within your proximity. It also features a mapping function and allows you to send and share information with others.
My365 is your mobile family album that allows uploading images even when on the go. The app is also easy to use; saving and categorising photographs is a breeze.
Mynd Calendar App
This can be considered as one of the best calendar apps around. It’s built for busy parents and comes with functions like alert systems and a conference call button.
Walkie-talkies are not yet a thing of the past. This application proves it by letting you hear your family’s voices when you travel. You can also leave instant messages when you find it hard to compose long and complicated reminders.
This is your ideal app when you want to control and monitor email messages of your kids. Configuration options can prevent email setup, turn off email access, and lock an email account. It works not only for emails but for other types of content as well such as movies, applications, and web pages.
It’s the ever reliable virtual nanny which you can configure to block undesirable things over the Internet like nudity, graphic sex, morbid violence, death, and other mature content. With this app, you can be confident that kids at home are glued on computers safe and secure.
If you want quick note taking without the hassle of account login, folder saving, and finding your way through the options list, then this application is for you. One interesting feature is that you can write notes and send them to your email accounts pronto and retrieve it later.
It merges functions of your iPhone Calendar Events and Reminder into one helpful application so you won’t miss appointments and other scheduled activities for the day, week, or a month.
Quick first aide guide is now at your finger tips. Install this app and learn about treating emergencies, childhood ailments, and other common household injuries or illnesses.
American Red Cross First Aid App
This app features a comprehensive guide on almost every imaginable emergency situations such as typhoon, earthquake, other calamities, and household incidents that need immediate attention. It features first aid solutions for a broken arm, bee stings, fracture joints, poisoning, animal bites, and so much more. What makes it very helpful is that it has preloaded images, videos, and illustrations that can be accessed even if you are not connected to the Internet.
With this application, parents have references at their fingertips when looking for signs and symptoms of several common diseases, making it easier to figure out what illness their children are suffering from. This is just an instant resource though and not a replacement for actual doctors.
Find My Kids
With this application, parents can track their kids’ whereabouts automatically. You can have data on a child’s destination and time of arrival. It is also secure to use because data is kept confidential and limited between you and your kids only.
These essential iPhone applications make parents confident that their children are safe and secure always whether they are at home or not.