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Lifestyle

July 19, 2013

Dr. Kate Roberts: What parents should know about the kids, technology and education apps

People love their computers! The technology we regularly use today is loaded with astonishing accomplishments that make it possible for people to access information anywhere at any time. We have ways to connect with family and friends who live far away and cannot be present in person. The opportunities and possibilities for growth, productivity and education are endless in the virtual world.

Yet, given all of the benefits of technology, there is growing evidence that too much technology and certain types of it can be bad for people, especially for children. Researchers have found that in the past 15 years, the rate of technology use has more than doubled. If we focus on just children, the increase is even more dramatic. As a result, experts in child development are increasingly expressing concerns regarding how the overuse of technology impacts a child’s brain, especially at younger ages.

That being said, education technology can still be a wonderful thing, especially for children age 5 and older who are perhaps already being introduced to technology in their kindergarten technology classes. There are so many apps out there to choose from — How do parents decide which ones are best for their children?

According to the experts, education apps should encourage deep inquiry, critical thinking skills and engaging learning experiences. Technology apps that focus on various aspects of learning are highlighted here via different sources. What follows is a well-rounded list that will be very useful for parents who want their kids to have an edge while using and building upon their technology skills.

Drawing and art

Let’s Learn How to Draw! — This app for all ages is great to use, thanks to its very clear interface and the lighthearted way it instructs you as you draw.

Interactive Sketchbook — For ages 4 and up, this app has four very detailed lessons from an artist. Each lesson talks you through the process of drawing a portrait by showing you how the artist draws, step by step.

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