Last Tuesday's Times reports on a study by Vanderbilt University researchers suggesting that interactive television can actually be good for children's development. Earlier research showed that 3-5 year olds who watched Blues Clues "score better on tests of problem solving than those who haven’t watched the show."
What about younger children? It turns out that live interaction between babies and an adult is best for babies' learning, and only a few babies learn from traditional or "Television 1.0"-type interactions. However, the Vanderbilt research "... showed that 24-month-olds are more apt to use information relayed by video if they consider the person on the screen to be someone they can talk to." TV 2.0 anyone?
September 5, 2006
Health / Mental Health & Behavior: When Toddlers Turn on the TV and Actually Learn
By LISA GUERNSEY
Should babies and toddlers be exposed to television at all? Is there any chance that they could actually learn from the screen?
Young Children's Use of Video as a Source of Socially Relevant Information
Georgene L. Troseth, Megan M. Saylor, and Allison H. Archer
Volume 77, Number 3. Page 786 - May/June 2006