For the past three months we have had access to an iPad (loaned from work). Our daughter Lily is three years old and it is her use of the iPad that most interests me. We haven’t bought many apps, mostly using Video to access movies (Shaun the Sheep, Paddington, etc.) and Doodle which is a simple drawing application.
As a consuming device, it works great for a three year old who is able to turn it on, manage the interface to get to the iTunes app and chose and lay videos. As a creative tool, there is also merit in that Lily can easily draw pictures (lines, clip art, etc.).
My observations tell me that this is a ‘natural’ way for a young child to use ICT. When she now tries to use my laptop, the move back to a trackpad and keyboard is difficult and requires some ‘unlearning’ – touching a screen to select icons and dragging a finger to navigate around to make things happen seems natural.