When the netbook first came on the market, I was so happy. It was a small, affordable computer that encompassed the basic functions and programs, and I thought it was perfect for my older daughter.
This way she could get off of my computer and do homework and research on her own time. I could write when I needed to, and we could both surf the net without wait. She loved it and the arrangement worked well. Now, most kids want the newest tech gadget, the iPad, and it’s not only kids who are leaving the netbook behind.
The New York Times reports that tablet sales are zooming, primarily Apple’s iPad, but also the other versions put out by Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Research In Motion and Samsung.
At the same time netbook sales are stalling, consequently, they also seem to be going up in price. I checked out several netbooks this past holiday season and the cheapest one I could find with the most basic programs was easily $400, which is just slightly less than getting a regular desktop package. A starter iPad is roughly only $100 more. And kids today not only like computers, they need computers for homework and at a younger age.
My 8-year-old had a series of projects last week that included two typed reports on Microsoft Word. For his science report, he was on my computer much of the time researching endangered animals and writing the report itself. What surprised me was how much faster he typed than he wrote with a pencil. I thought typing up a report might take him quite a long time, but he types quickly without effort. In the past, when he had to write a full two or three loose-leaf pages, it would take significantly longer.
For another project, he had to participate in a mock wax museum. Each student had to be a famous person and recite a speech using at least 3 props. I can’t tell you how many kids used their own iTouch or iPad to enhance their performance. It’s clear that technology has become ingrained in our children’s lives.
I have to admit I really want an iPad, even more so since I saw Oprah fawn over it on her ‘Favorite Things’ show. I love gadgets and computers, everything from feeling the new keys underneath your fingertips as you write to getting giddy at the new programs on them. Technology is wonderful for kids to use and get used to from an early age. And I would definitely consider getting my kids iPads … if I can have one for myself first!
Does your child have his own computer? At what age did you get it? Would you get your child an iPad? Do you have an iPad?