PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- For a long time, only older children have been using technology in school. But now tablet computers are opening new possibilities for the youngest learners, while some people wonder how young is too young.
Waynflete School in Portland introduced iPads to its preschool program last year, and the teachers feel the devices have been a huge success. With the help of a teacher, 3-5 year olds have been composing music using the GarageBand app, and using QR codes to access websites their teachers have chosen with videos on a certain topic.
Teachers Bob Mills and Gretchen Schaefer said the devices allow students to work more independently, and give them self confidence. Mills said, "In some ways, it seems like the iPad was designed for this age group in the classroom. They can't be broken. You can't make a mistake on them. You can always go back to the home screen."
Some parents were concerned about using the devices with such young children, but the school has not had any push back since parents have been able to see what has been happening in the classroom.
Waynflete Lower School Director Ben Thrash said, "Our goal is to use the real world as much as we can. But there are certain things you can't do in a classroom space that technology allows you to do it differently, or allows you to document it differently."
Last year, the National Association for the Education of Young Children came out in favor of using certain technologies with children under the age of 5, but it warns against using any media or technology that is not interactive with children under 2, and only limited use of that media before the age of 5.