Our family was on a long car trip recently and my son handed my three-year-old granddaughter his iPhone so she could play some games that he had downloaded for her. She took the phone without hesitation and played intently for the next 40-50 minutes. I couldn't help but think how this generation of children will be so comfortable with the same technology that I have watched come into existence and evolve within my lifetime. When I began teaching in 1970 there were NO computers in schools or even personal computers. The purple ink mimeograph machines with the intoxicating smell were used for making copies and the Princess phone - the kind you have to plug into a phone jack - was the hottest telephone and our idea of a "social network"!
However, this is a new generation! Computers and "phones on the go" with applications for everything are a part of everyday life. This generation of children that we are now teaching are born into this tekky world. In an effort to help teachers and parents find apps for their iPhones that are especially appropriate for our young children, I recommend this blog by Megan, a Kindergarten teacher over at Scholastic. I think her suggestions should be passed on to parents who sit with their children waiting in a doctor's office or for a special treat on a long car trip or who sit with younger children or siblings as they wait at the dance studio or ball park. The iPhone is the perfect take-along boredom buster. It's easy. It's portable. It's educational! Of course, using an iPhone to entertain a bored youngster means parents have to give up their own iPhone... so maybe they can bring an iPod Touch for their child, while they hold on to their iPhone. Of course... a parent can still bring a few books along or use conversation for boredom relief! They never go out of style!