Fresh Five – Review Site Kickoff

Our little guy turned five this week.  We seemed to have “beat” a lot of our friends to having a kid by a year or more, and lately have been pinged about iPhone and iPad apps that we like for Sal.

I feel like I need to provide a little context to introducing another site out there and the viewpoint that we’re looking to share.   Both my husband and I studied cognitive science in college.   It’s a mix of disciplines that tries to understand how information transforms the brain.  It includes neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and cognitive psychology and it’s put a bit of a spin on how we look at raising our son.

We’re smack dab in Silicon Valley, both working at well known tech companies, but it doesn’t mean we want electronic babysitters raising our son.  Knowing how crucial those early experiences are, all the wiring that happens, marrying senses to experience – we wanted to be careful on how the lure of electronic media was used.   Things like baby einstein really concerned me and we stayed clear of using these.   Not to say you use it and your child’s in trouble.   It can be useful for giving yourself a break and your child a distraction, but i felt bad that parents were misled to believe they were giving their kid a head start by putting them in front of a non-interactive screen and passively watching a screen.  The marketing of it all, taking tenuously reached conclusions marketed to the masses, really upset me.

So yeah, we limit his screen time, he needs to sop up all the real world interactions and experiences.   But technology is also here, and what Sal will grow up with and how he can succeed and how we were brought up will be very different.   And there are advantages too in what this new paradigm can bring to the table.

This being the first entry will be the only one that I get talky talky and on my learning high horse.

Going forward – we’ll be dedicating posts to reviewing apps for iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) as this is what we’re seeing as such a natural interface for Sal to take advantage of.   He’s comfortable on a PC, but there’s something just so beautiful about the ease that young kids can jump in on the iOS devices.

My favorite observation shared was from Seth Godin, who  closed out a blog entry on the kindle with this:  “I saw a two-year old kid (in diapers, in a stroller), using an iPod Touch today. Not just looking at it, but browsing menus and interacting. This is a revolution, guys.”

Couldn’t agree more.

PS – One of the goals I had for this blog was to make it easy for parents to find an app for a particular purpose.   Am thinking that things break down into certain categories like open-ended creativity, problem solving, math (age), reading (age), etc.   Any thoughts out there of what you’d like the categories to be?   Love Apple, but hate trying to find the apps through their store.