– Many people are predicting terrible consequences for young children exposed to media devices. Are the effect of tablets and smartphones on our little ones as bad as forewarned? During their early years, should children learn in front of a screen rather than using old-fashioned toys and exploring their real environment? Researchers at Babylab, the centre for brain and cognitive development hosted by Birkbeck University, have some interesting answers to those burning questions.

– Babylab scientists are working on a project called “Tablet”, whose goal is to gauge both the positive and negative effects of screen devices on infants and toddlers. Against the alarming news, Dr Tim Smith from Babylab thinks that tablets could have some good influence on a developing brain. “Previously babies had limited cognitive stimulation because before it was just receptive,” he says, admitting however that the long-term outcome of early screen use is not yet clear.

– Early education is a permanent work in progress. Perhaps we should remember that not so long ago, some people were worried about the impact of printed materials on young children. Today, however, only a few parents would probably take a book off their child’s hand.



Image: Wikimedia Commons