I guess this is the same debate that our parents had when we were growing up playing on our games consoles. I think the debate here goes further though as today’s tablets have much more functionality than the games consoles that we had growing up. Our games consoles were purely for games, whereas tablets can be used to teach your kids to read, write, count, all sorts of shape and pattern recognition.
I understand parents who want to limit their kid’s time on tablets, that’s fine I’m all for that, but some parents don’t want their kids to even touch a tablet.
I think the future is tablet based, I do think keyboard skills will be as important as pen skills. I don’t know whether that extends to teaching them to speed text, I think some skills are self taught and learning to text will be self motivated.
Speaking about games and parents not wanting to let their children play games, I want to make the point that there are a lot of jobs in games industry. I’m currently (2013) working in the games industry, I work with a lot of designers, artists, programmers, QA etc. It is a viable career as much as any other, what all of these people have in common is that they have been playing games since they were kids. On the whole it didn’t impact upon their education, I would say the vast majority of them did very well educationally and went onto universities.I do understand the argument that is made that playing computer games takes you away from studying. I think it depends on what games you play as a kid. Some games can teach basic maths and language skills, some teach strategy and how to handle money.