How the iPad has Brought 3 Generations of Learners Together

I never imagined I would be writing this article. I have been using an iPad for 5 years now, and have it with me all the time. But along the way, I have recruited two other generations and have everything from iPad Gigi , to iPad Grandma to iPad Toddler in my family. How did this happen? How have things changed between us? Some changes have been awesome and wonderful and other changes I never anticipated.

I had been talking to my mom about creating some lessons or books together. She was beginning retirement and even though she lives in another state, we were trying to find ways to be closer. The iPad was the beginning of this wonderful transformation. We began to use FaceTime, going through basic iPad lessons. My mom was picking up my excitement. We downloaded some of the same apps to try together. However, when she admitted she had played one of the games till two in the morning, I had second thoughts, haha. We downloaded different photo apps to try to outdo each other on cute grandkids pictures, which is still ongoing. When we did get to visit last summer, we took movies and pictures to create memories. We used Book Creator to create a book about her favorite dog. I share my blogs and posts, and website with her to ask for opinions through the Google Drive app. Yes we still email and text, however using the iPad has created an unbelievable opportunity for both of us to learn together and about each other.

The iPad has created an unbelievable opportunity for both of us to learn together.

Life throws us curves and I am a grandma mom, unexpectedly raising young grandchildren under five years old. Well there is no way grandma was going to get to use the iPad, and not them. They picked up the iPad and it seemed so natural. One of the girls was able to get on iTunes radio and play Frozen faster than I could download an app. Keeping up with them has been an experience and I am learning every day. Everything from restricting purchases, to how to keep the volume down. I was having to think about words like digital footprints and yes you have to ask permission to take someone’s picture at the park. I never had to think about this when my kids grew up. But on the flip side, the incredible amount of learning and sharing together is amazing. We can read a book, color a picture, watch bible story videos, create a slide show, call Gigi and the list goes on and on. After the third time she Facetimed Gigi, I could not figure out how she was doing it. I had her show me. “Grandma it is easy, I just look for her picture. Do you want me to call Papa too?” How can you not laugh at that logic?

It is so exciting to see what is possible for even just a four year old. Her two year old sister was not to about to be left behind, so she uses the baby care apps. While I dislike the in-app purchases, I realize there may even be lessons in these with learning to launch the apps, sequencing and developing a sense of accomplishment for her when she baked a cake. Keeping the iPads charged is now part of the nightly routine. Who would have imagined? I cannot dream all of the wonderful ways the iPad will change their lives, while being worried about the scary possibilities with all the information that can be shared and is available.

While life has changed dramatically in the last year, the iPad has created a special way for us to become three generations of iPadders, and how many of us can say that?


Feature image courtesy of Flickr, Pascal Maramis.

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