Technology, Helpful Tool for Education or Isolating Factor?

When I was a kid, we used coloring books and played in the sand, or ran around the street. Computers were something rare, and not everybody was playing games at that time or spending so much time in the online. This reminds me of the latest Simpsons episode (at the moment of this writing), called The D’oh-cial Network. In the episode, Lisa creates a social network just like Facebook to make friends and, eventually, she discovers that albeit she has a lot of friends, you can’t really call that a friendship. Long story short, she is forced to close the social network down and the kids return to their previous occupations: playing entertaining, fun, physical sports, thus spending more time together. Where I am going with this article is that, no matter how much technology evolves, we have to remain humans and not forget about feelings, emotions that are natural, not artificially fabricated. That’s why, approach and introduce technology to your kids with care as it seems that nowadays, technology has provided a solution for learning and playing for all kinds. If you want to give tablets a try for your kids, there are quite a few out there. They have few features and many have special screens that can withstand many punishments (such as water, scratching, drops etc) and protective coating.

Top 10 Tablets for Kids

Try not to compare them with iPad or other tablets, these do not have the power of those tablets (more powerful components equals higher price), and they do not really need it, for the apps kids use, these are enough to run smooth.

1. LeapPad

This pad is one of the best tablets for kids I’ve ever seen. It has lots of features and it’s really good for kids to develop their imagination. It features math and spelling games, it can adjust the learning level for your child. As far as tech goes, the LeapPad features a 5” screen and a 2GB build-in-memory and a 400 MHz processor. It can keep track of your child’s progress, so you can see how he/she improved since using the LeapPad.

2. InnoTab

With Inno Tab, learning has no limits! This tablet features a 5” touch screen with tilt sensor, and a host of educational apps. It can read e-books, mp3 or videos, all the tools you could need for kids to enjoy. It can store files on its 64 MB memory, or on an SD card. The tab supports up to 16 GB of memory. It has a really nice design, and it can appeal to kids from 4-9 years. Hell, even I like it!

3. Vinci Tab

This is the best looking tablet I’ve seen so far. It looks like a Formula 1 steering wheel, and it also has nice performance. This tablet features a 7” multi touch screen with a resolution of 800×480, a 3Mpx camera, 512 Mb RAM and all of these powered by a Cortex A8 microprocessor. You can install lots of apps and with its big screen it could be lots of fun for the little ones.

4. Nabi

Lots of games, lots of books, videos and drawings, all the things that make childhood fun, you can find them in this tablet. The Nabi looks like it should be use by kids: it has a nice rounded design. It can prove to be a learning tool as well as a fun device. Kids can customize their tablets with apps, skins and accessories. It features an 7” display and a 1.1 GHz Dual Core processor, and for more games, it has a dedicated graphics processor.

5. PlayBase

PlayBase could be considered the iPad of kids. It has a really clean design, with a 7” screen, a 1.2 GHz processor, Wi-Fi and all the features you will find on any other tablet. PlayBase is a really nice tablet, good for kids, but also for anyone else. It’s water, scratch and drop resistant, so it’s perfect for kids, and with its extensible memory, it can hold apps, videos and mp3’s for your kids to enjoy.

6. Nook Color

The Nook is not a new name in the business, but with this version, you can really feel it could be used by kids. It’s more of a play device than a learning gadget. The Nook features video playback and with Nook Comics, your kids have access to the largest database of Marvel comics they can find. You can enjoy the over 2.5 million books, magazines and interactive kid’s books, and so, the Nook Color will be something your kids will not get bored of. I know, many don’t view it as a tablet, but it’s a tablet for kids, right?

7. Kindle Fire

8. Ubislate 7/Aakash Tablet

The Aakash Tablet is more than most tablets: it’s a portable video phone that can send and receive video calls over Wi-Fi or GPRS. Its 7” screen can run HD video due to it’s Cortex A8 700 MHz processor and it’s dedicated 3D graphics processor, and it can store movies on its 2GB internal memory or on a SD card (it can hold up to 32 GB SD cards). The tablet runs on Android 2.3, so it has lots of features and a massive market for apps is at your disposal.

9. Archos Arnova

A very stylish tablet, Archos Arnova is cool piece of kit. It can play full HD video on it’s 10.1” screen, it’s really fast due to its Cortex A8 ARM 1 GHz processor and it’s really easy to use. It has a very intuitive interface and it’s great for kids of any age. It can connect to Wi-Fi, so you can keep connected and also download learning apps for the little ones. Just as the Kindle Fire or the Ubislate, it’s a tablet specifically designed for kids, but again I am saying this, it’s much cheaper.

10. Boogie Board

Boogie Board is one of the coolest tablets out there. It comes in 8.5” and 10” models. It does not have all the tech of the other models (it doesn’t even have a color display). You have a stylus and you write on the screen. It’s just like paper. In fact, this will very well be the paper of the future. A really nice idea and it could be lots of fun for kids. Some thing just never die, don’t they? These would be my top picks when it comes to tablets for kids. These could be really good learning tools, they have math apps or spelling, where they can watch cartoons or comics, learn or just play on them. As to what impact these gadgets will have on the social development of children, I don’t know, but I think that if you use them with moderation, and strictly as a learning tool, they can prove useful. Try not to overdue it though, these should not be used to take your kids off your head, but to be an aid in their development. Editor’s Note: Some readers were surprised not to see iPad 2 in the list and quite rightly so. It comes with some of the best tablet apps for kids and so very easy to use. My personal vote goes for iPad as well. But then it comes at a price higher than most of the above ones. Suggested Read: Top Cheap Tablets