Tablets Around the Family Table
It took me a minute but I finally jumped on the tablet bandwagon. It happened when my 70 year old mother informed me that she wanted an iPad. Which meant that it was my job to research, purchase, load, and deliver it to her. That mission was accomplished and in the process I found that tablets are great whole family computer solution.
For my mother it was perfect because apps are much more user friendly than websites. With an app she simply clicks the icon and goes directly to where she wants vs. a website where she would have to remember how to navigate to the site and her password. And even with bookmarks and tabs my mother would still forget where she was “supposed to go” to get to that website. Having an app based computer also protects against nasty computer viruses and spyware. Unlike websites the programs are closed so hackers cannot download software unbeknown to you while you are using an app. Now that my mom has an iPad gone are my days of having to pick up her computer to erase, re-format, and re-load the hard drive because of some virus she’d gotten while playing online poker. Her favorite apps are Netflix, kindle, the app to download library books, and a couple of knitting apps I found for her.
On the other side of the spectrum for many of the same reasons mentioned above I think tablets are great for children – from toddler to teen. It can be a great learning tool because using the touch and swipe interface on smart phones and tablets seems to be as instinctive to children as knowing how to stack blocks or roll cars. The ease of use encourages curiosity. Children love things they can touch and things with sound and color and interaction. The other bonus is that there are plethora of educational apps for the tablets and many of them in franchises that children are familiar with like PBS or Disney.
If I were shopping for a new family computer today I would choose a tablet over a laptop hands down.