Parents of wiz kid praise iPad as unique learning tool

Michelle Stuckey
May 05, 2011 at 2:34 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Parents of wiz kid praise iPad as unique learning tool
As technology improves every year, children seem to be getting a head start on learning. Twenty-month-old Raylon Palmer of Montz is no exception - he cannot even talk yet but he already uses technology on a daily basis.

Thanks to an iPhone and iPad, Raylon can already recognize all of the capital and lowercase letters in the alphabet, numbers one through nine, colors by name and more. His parents, Evella Spencer and Ray Palmer, said that Raylon was able to learn on his own thanks to education applications on the devices.

“Because of the iPad and the educational apps that I have downloaded, Raylon has learned the alphabet, numbers, how to do puzzles, colors, spelling and plenty of other educational things,” Spencer said. “He also knows how to go on Netflix and watch a movie on his own. He even knows how to take pictures and make calls on my iPhone.

“When we are out in public and Raylon has his iPad, people are amazed at how smart he is in operating it.”

Raylon is months, and in some cases years, ahead of other children his age who may not have had the technological opportunities and parental interactions that he has.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, sorting objects by shape or color and completing three- to four-piece puzzles is a 3-year-old milestone.

Raylon is not yet two but already has iPad games that have taught him how to sort fish by color and do four- to six-piece puzzles.

Knowing a few numbers is a 4-year-old milestone according to the department, but Raylon can recognize numbers by name up to nine.

The iPhone and iPad were originally his mother’s, but Raylon took control and started using them on his own without any instruction.

“It was very amazing how he figured out how to operate them,” Spencer said.

Now Raylon has more than 100 education apps on his iPad and he plays with it about five times a week. While he loves his iPad and wants to use it every time he sees it, his parents are working hard to make sure he balances the educational games with outside play and other experiences.

“We will keep him playing with it as long as he still thinks it is fun, but we want him to have balance with outdoor activities, like going to the park and museums,” Palmer said. “I think it really is going to give him a great head start on other kids.

“There are a lot of kids who can recite the ABCs but can’t recognize them - he’s the opposite.”

The applications have not only helped Raylon learn, but they have also made learning fun.

“Now he gets excited when he sees letters and numbers,” Palmer said. Palmer and Spencer said that when they take Raylon to restaurants or stores he recognizes the letters and numbers on signs.

Now Spencer hopes that Apple will develop a new iPad specifically for toddlers. She wrote a letter to Apple, the company that makes the iPhone and iPad, encouraging the development of a less-expensive iPad with less memory and limited functions that would be targeted towards toddlers.

“I know it would be a great benefit to our children’s future education,” Spencer said.

View other articles written Michelle Stuckey

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