Friday, August 12, 2011

"I had it first!..."

No, that's not the cry of frustration from my nearly 7 year old or even from my nearly 2 year old (whose preference would be to yell "MINE" to the very top of her lungs). Instead it is the defense of my 40+ husband upon my chastising him to "Give the ipad back to the baby!" The addition of the ipad to our household has brought both delight and chaos to our lives!

This summer has been a HUGE foray in general for our family into the world of acquiring and actually utilizing up to date technological devices and services. Let's see, as a birthday gift for my husband, I surprised him with a brand spanking new 32" flat screen TV equipped to communicate with all other technologies in our home (save kitchen appliances). We switched and upgraded our cable, phone and Internet service to one which would best enable full blossom of the aforementioned communication and wait for it...for the VERY first time have wireless signals wafting through the air. We are watching movies online and cruising You tube and Face book from wherever we want. We are synching and sharing music, photos and video from ipods and laptops. We are beginning to experiment with video chatting and considering major upgrades to the potential of our outdated cell phones. All of this jump started by the knowledge that we would have an ipad in the house to experiment and play with this summer.

For most of you I'll bet your lives have already been made more convenient and streamlined by the very things we have just begun to embrace. Perhaps these things have brought you and your family pleasure as well as some precious time by making communication with family and friends more concise, succinct and coordinated (or maybe the opposite as keeping up with Face book has easily become a 45 minute a day activity?). We are slowly getting the hang of it all, slowly.

The ipad has been a marvel for us. I have been impressed by so many of it's aspects overall. It is just the right size and just the right weight for every member of our house to use. It is solidly constructed and sturdy as it's kinda' sorta' been banged up a bit during various tugs of war (between siblings and with visiting cousins and friends) and handling in general. It's held up very well and with no nicks, scrapes, cracks or breaks. I have been truly amazed with how easy it is to operate and to access and utilize apps. My 6 1/2 year old has been able to quite independently open, figure out, use and master most of the age appropriate learning and game apps much to her delight as she has no other gaming devices. She is now addicted in no time flat. What is really ridiculous is that my 1 1/2 year old has watched us intently and when given the ipad she can press the button to reveal or hide apps. She can scroll to the side until she gets to her apps of choice which are usually my first tangrams, animal sights and sounds and You tube where she can completely O.D. on Elmo and Sesame Street clips. She too is jonesing for her ipad time each day (ugh, and night). Just the knowledge that it is in the house has become something that they look forward to upon entering the house or shortly thereafter. This has been a challenge and we have had to put our foot (feet?) down, cut them off and move them on to activities that require absolutely no technology. Of course, this usually solicits bouts of objecting, whining and sometimes crying.

Having only an early generation ipod and a truly archaic cell phone (which does not even have a QWERTY key pad) I was not acquainted with the scrolling, pinching, touching, tapping and dragging screens to access and manipulate information and entertainment material. Although I utilize the Smart board in my classroom and perform some of these actions, this is certainly different. I too have enjoyed the ease of access and ability to perform various functions and to explore apps. I have downloaded some great free art apps with fantastic potential for class room use. Some enable interesting art and design making potential with finger or photography as well as some that provide access to museum collections, publications and art games. I look forward to reviewing some of these in the very near future.

For my husband the ipad has been all about ANGRY BIRDS! Okay, he also finds the Star Walk amazing and has been caught walking around with the Compass app up revealing where true north is. Angry birds has become his thing to do, his thing to fiddle with when his mind is racing, sort of like how I bite my thumbnails or crack open sunflower seeds one after another after another. Of course the fact that it is the coolest, sleekest and most fun device in the house from which he can access email and search the web is highly appealing to him.

Every one in our household has had some difficulty breaking free from the ipads mesmerizing siren call. We are affectionately changing its name to the "Mine pad".

1 comment:

  1. I say Amen to the addictive factor. My 3 year old and 8 year old grandchildren jockey for a turn on the iPad. Often one has the iPad and the other has their moms iPhone. It's a funny sight.