What is Healthy Technology, and how to identify a good app for your child? Most parents with young children today know that when all of a sudden the mob of activity surrounding the whereabouts of their off-spring go quiet and disappear, they’re usually in a room behind a door secretly exploring an unsuspecting device that has been momentarily been left lying about.
Image courtesy of Huffington Post
We cannot deny that the attraction children have to screens is magnetic and yes, needs to be monitored, but also needs to embraced given a few guidelines. Children need to learn about using technology safely, they need to keep up with peers internationally, they need to learn to tell good apps from bad apps and this can only be done under favorable conditions.
Enter healthy technology. It’s like freshly made green juice, it’s juice, but its good for you.
I believe in healthy technology, as I enjoy the peace of mind it gives me. I’ve watched how my children learn to navigate a new game within seconds, or where to find their favourite drawing app, hidden away on my screen in a separate folder, even before they can talk properly.
The biggest problem is that all apps aren’t equal. We hear well-meaning specialists advocating against screens and devices, but making no distinction between the quality of the apps (or the devices, there are some very clunky things out there). Good quality apps have beautiful sound simple graphics, appealing colours, they’re intuitive, clear, uncluttered, well designed and just “feel good’ (See My Very Hungry Caterpillar by StoryToys).
Healthy technology are definitely free from in-app purchases, advertisements or other ways of extracting cash (or data) from young learners. The contents is educational or entertaining in an old-fashioned kind of way, like coloring-in apps, memory-game apps, or spelling games. The size of the app should respect users’ devices, and not use a ton of data. Most people don’t live in countries where data is free, and have more than one app on their phones, all competing for space.
So now you know that its easy to tell a good app from a bad app, its as simple trusting your gut when judging a traditional toy too. One is clearly made from cheap plastic and the other from durable hand-crafted wood. We’ve recommended good apps before, maybe its time to start small, join the digital world and embrace healthy technology by downloading one high quality app today.
Click here for our list of recommended apps.
Sibella Knott-Craig – Founder & CEO of Tribage App Studio