Feb 2, 2012

What You Need to Know About the Rise of Tablets for Kids


The number of kids using tablets is on the rise.  A study shows that 44% of children wanted an iPad this past Christmas compared to 31% in 2010.


Sales are forecast to be nearly 250% higher this year than the 18 million tablets sold last year.  PC sales, meanwhile, will increase by an anemic 3%.  A new survey from the nonprofit group, Common Sense Media, finds nearly half of 2 to 4 year olds, and 10 percent of children younger than that, have used a smartphone, tablet or video iPod.

Tablets have become a communal item among families.  One-third of parents share their tablet with their kids.  65% of mothers regularly let their children use their tablet.  In many instances, parents are handing the tablet to their child to keep them occupied while they are shopping, waiting in line, in the car, or at a sibling's soccer game. 

Educational leaders are recognizing the potential of tablets being used in education.  Apple recently announced that it is targeting its products for classrooms.  Many teachers are already using tablets to engage students and make learning more fun.  Valerie Nash, the Director of the Peoria Unified School Distict says,"the power of having that in the classroom is that it’s a tool for learning."  A tablet called the Nabi is linked to 33,000 educational and kid-friendly websites.  Here's a couple of examples.

video


Online safety is a concern.  With most tablets comes direct access to the internet.  Not the most ideal place for a child to hang out if it is not filtered.  Companies such as Fuhu, Fooz, and Playrific have developed apps that parents can install to protect their children while they are using tablets.

So what does this mean for Children's Ministry?
  • Should we be developing apps for tablets that teach kids God's Word?
  • How can we equip parents to use tablets as a discipleship tool for their children?
  • Do you think the Bible on tablet will eventually replace the Bible on paper?
  • How can we make tablets a creative, interactive teaching element in our classrooms at church?

Would enjoy seeing your thoughts in the comment section below.

Posted by Dale Hudson

5 comments:

Absolutely, we should be using apps for tablets that teach kids God's Word. Group has a new digital customizable curriculum called LIVE Children's Curriculum that includes iPhone, iPad, and Android apps. It's really taking off. :)

This is an issue that I've been very interested in over the past year. I'm in full-time children's/youth ministry, and my husband has just recently begun work as a full-time app developer for iPads/iPod touches. One of his recent apps is a really cool study Bible, and we are waiting to see how "popular" it becomes in Christian circles. I think as the younger generation grows into adulthood, digital devices will start to more and more replace things like books, paper Bibles, etc.

I anticipate seeing how the Christian world navigates these changes!

Thanks for sharing Rochelle and Mainely-Me. That is exciting to hear. I will check out the LIVE curriculum and I'd enjoy seeing the Bible study app as well. Any links you can share would be great.

Dale,
Here's the link to the LIVE Children's Curriculum:
http://group.com/childrens-ministry/sunday-school/live

The teachers use the app and not the kids. Still a step in the right directions for the digital age. :)
Rochelle

We hav been researching tablets for my 8yrold & bought her a Coby. After I realized there were so many christian & educational gaming options I felt it was actually better than buying her another gaming system. She can load christian ebooks, music, music videos, and digital copies of kid friendly christian movies. I was excited about the Myeebo christian tablet but felt like it was a little too expensive of a device for an 8yr old but I may get one myself!Now I have all these ideas aboout using christian media in my childrens church class

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