My son Vito has discovered the wonders of the iPad. We only get to use it though when we go over to my parents’ place, as each of them has their own. (Lucky them.) My boy has no qualms about asking for the nifty device, and the doting grandparents always oblige! Naturally, Vito’s interest in the iPad has made me wonder if we should get our own for our use at home, but I’ve been inclined to wait. (Anyway, the iPad 3 is making it’s way to our shores soon!)
I know I’ll eventually have to think about the apps to download, seeing as the iPad has received mixed opinions from the child development and parent community on the Internet. Me? I’m in the school of thought that believes we ought to ride on with technology. The world’s not going to slow down, and truthfully, we as parents have got to keep up with what our kids are introduced to, especially with regard to mobile devices that are here to stay.
New iPad App “Zilly Dilly”
Last week, I had the chance to exchange emails with Dr. Eitan Schwarz (whom I’ll call Dr. S from now on!), the developer of a new iPad app called ZillyDilly. I was intrigued by this new app, seeing as I have a history of being a “Net Nazi.” (I was working in a tutorial school for seven years, dealing mostly with elementary to high school boys. Go figure.)
Dr. S — a child psychologist — combined research with his nearly 40 years of medical practice and authored Kids, Parents & Technology: A Guide for Young Families. His mission to inform parents about being proactive vanguards of technology, as well as his studies on digital media in therapy with children, helped Dr. S to develop the ZillyDilly iPad app. This app allows parents to control the sites their children can visit, limiting them to only the best and most educational sites the Web has to offer.
Here’s my Q &A with Dr. S. about the ZillyDilly app:
Dainty Mom (DM): How can a parent be sure ZillyDilly is fully reliable as a child-safe browser?
Dr. S: After test driving, you will see that all sites and ads can be blocked. Sites recommended are vetted and ranked for appropriateness and safety, and any potential hazards are described for parents as they select sites and customize the child’s experience.
DM: What is the recommended age for a child to begin using an iPad app?
Dr. S: We follow guidelines set by groups like the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). Parents and teachers can begin introducing preschoolers under their control and supervision. iPad and app use should promote family life. I created ZillyDilly to provide a childproof environment created by parents and teachers that enhances healthy psychological development and family life.
DM: Can you give parents some practical tips for using the ZillyDilly?
Dr S: Make it the first and only app for preschoolers and early graders, and follow presets that limit time. Empower the child as a stakeholder in planning the child’s media plan, and stick to the preset timers as much as possible. Parents can also send us their recommendations.
You can also see us on LinkedIn: ZillyDilly Users Group (http://www.linkedin.com/
In short, enjoy the iPad together face-to-face with the young child. Use it as a beginning to learn how to manage all media at home and teach good balance with media other than entertainment.
Download ZillyDilly FREE (Limited time only.)
For a limited time, ZillyDilly is free and can be downloaded directly here. I encourage you to download it, if you have school-age children who are already browsing the Internet, perhaps from a regular browser. ZillyDilly may be a better alternative, as you can set time limits, block unsafe or inappropriate sites, and adjust restrictions as your child grows, all ensuring that he or she has a healthy online and offline life. Personally, I believe that ZillyDilly will be a valuable app for me when my son is old enough to browse the Internet.
For more information, visit the iTunes Store.
And in case you’re wondering: No, this is not a sponsored post.