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In this recent story for ABC News, the newscaster, a parent, demonstrates how her toddlers appear to learn words and counting via an iPad app but then show no ability to replicate their knowledge when confronted with old-fashioned flashcards.

An NYT article I’d linked to earlier on the blog, reported that babies “preserve the ability to discriminate Chinese language sounds” when exposed face-to-face with a Mandarin speaker, but not if they hear the same sounds via “a television program or an audio tape.”

Could there be a connection? It’s almost as though the screen that separates these two learning experiences marks the division between two different worlds and what happens in one may not reach the other… Or maybe I should just quit reading 1Q84 already.


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