Two-Year-Old Kids Can Easily Navigate Touchscreen Devices, Study Says

February 19, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. operate / ˈɒp əˌreɪt / (v.) – to control something
Example: The school teaches children to operate computers.

2. navigate / ˈnæv ɪˌgeɪt / (v.) – to go to different places in a device or website
Example: Instructions on how to navigate the website is included in the page.

3. widespread / ˈwaɪdˈsprɛd / (adj.) – distributed over a wide area
ExampleStudying English as a second language has become more widespread.

4. digital / ˈdɪdʒ ɪ tl / (adj.) – related to computer technology
Example: Children are becoming more exposed to digital devices nowadays.

5. rapidly / ˈræp ɪd li / (adv.) – happening quickly
ExampleThe rapidly changing temperature in the region affected its animal population.


Read the text below.
A study suggests that two-year-old kids can easily operate touchscreen devices.

Published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, a small Irish study found that children as young as age two can easily unlock and navigate touchscreen devices. Findings say that this is because the use of such devices is widespread and most parents download apps and games designed for toddlers.

The researchers conducted the study on 82 parents of children between the ages of 1 to 3. For five months in 2014, the team conducted surveys on the participants to evaluate how knowledgeable toddlers were in using touchscreen devices.

Based on the study, digital games accessed through touchscreen devices are rapidly replacing traditional play in toddlers. Lead author Deirdre Murray mentioned that further studies are still needed to determine if this trend presents a positive or a negative effect on child development.

Despite strong recommendations by many doctors against the use of touchscreen devices before the age of two, Dr. Larry Rosen of California State University Dominguez Hills believes that toddlers should be allowed to use such devices. He thinks that parents should focus more on monitoring their children's playtime than discouraging their children to use technology.

However, parents should consider some points when letting their children use touchscreen devices, Rosen added. He recommends that apps used by children should be educational and involve interaction with parents. He also said that the apps should be used in moderation.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that playing digital games is helpful to children? Why or why not?
·         If you were a parent, would you allow your kids to be exposed to electronic devices at the age of two? Why or why not?

Discussion B
·         Why is it important to let children play interactive, creative games?
·         How can parents ensure that their children know about the responsible use of technology?

February 19, 2016