My name is Kristin, and I’m a technology enthusiast who has a passion for curriculum development, training, and education. And, oh yeah—parenting! As any new parent can attest, every day in your child’s life feels like a milestone, particularly during the first year. As my daughter’s face changed with every sunrise, I arbitrarily shared her growth through photos and videos, leading up to the biggest milestone yet: her first birthday.
And now, the subject of my photography can now study her own subjects! Stella is learning how to communicate through language and actions. Her motor control requires her to grasp finger foods, pull herself up, and eventually take her first steps. In fact,
“The yearlong period from 12 to 24 months is a crucial period of brain development unmatched throughout childhood,” says Mark Spielmann, a pediatric dietitian at La Rabida Children’s Hospital in Chicago. “Brain growth is 75% complete by the end of the second year.”
Here’s where things get interesting…
What if the arbitrary became methodical? During her second year (12-24 months), I will regularly document Stella’s communication skills. To augment the learning that naturally occurs within her everyday environment, I will also give Stella access to the iPad 2 in order to play with apps that target language and memory skills. Each week, I’ll record her interaction and comment on what works best for her. Subscribe to my feed for updates.
Although the American Academy of Pediatrics lists generic milestones for language development between the ages of 0-24 months, I have no scientific strategy to compare Stella’s progress against specific benchmarks—nor do I plan to withhold non-digital learning tools from her during this period. (I said I would be methodical, not Machiavellian.) After all, simply spending time with a child fosters brain development, and my goal is for Stella to acquire these skills regardless of the medium. Emphasizing the iPad 2 on this journey just offers us an opportunity to explore a new path. Let’s find out together what works, what doesn’t, and what we can do better.
She’s going digital, baby!