(borrowed from a Facebook post and associated thread Mika Leuck shared)
10 Reasons Why Handheld Devices Should Be Banned for Children Under the Age of 12
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Society of Pediatrics state
infants aged 0-2 years should not have any exposure to technology, 3-5 years be restricted to one hour per day, and 6-18 years restricted to 2 hours per day (AAP 2001/13, CPS 2010). Children and youth use 4-5 times
the recommended amount of technology, with serious and often life threatening consequences (Kaiser Foundation 2010, Active Healthy Kids Canada 2012)...I'm calling on parents, teachers and governments to ban the use of all handheld devices for children under the age of 12 years. More on Huffington Post
Pediatric occupational therapist Cris Rowan makes some good points, and cites studies worth reading, but she is missing a crucial distinction between passive viewing and interactive engagement with apps designed by education professionals. Proper and controlled use of educational apps can accelerate learning. I have seen this first hand.
Additionally, I believe denying children access to "screens" until they are 12 will put them at a distinct disadvantage in a world where kids are programming at that age and even earlier. Some countries are teaching programming in the public school system to students as young as seven. Technologies like MIT's Scratch and Lego Mindstorms are drawing in more budding programmers at increasingly young ages. I think this is fantastic, because programming puts so many critical skills such as logic, math, creative problem solving and physics (via simulation) in context and demonstrates how they can be used together in exciting ways.
That being said, it is hard to find the right balance. We struggle to successfully manage productive use of technology with our 2yo every day. You can clearly have too much iPad, even if it is all educational.