To view this page ensure that Adobe Flash Player version 11.1.0 or greater is installed.

DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET The changes in technology over the past twenty years have been transformative. As authors, we couldn’t bear the thought of having to bang out this book on a typewriter. We remember our precomputer days and the painful process of retyping pages with errors and worrying about what would happen if we lost our only copy. And as teachers, we know that many new technological tools are amazing. They allow a child to immediately search for and identify the insect that is eating the cucumbers. They give her the opportunity to photograph it, type out her story, and then save or print it with the accompanying photograph. When we were teach- ing, we were unable to provide enough reference books to equal a small portion of what is on the Internet. And if we took photos, film strictly limited how many photos we could take and how we could process and print them. We appreciate what technology has given us, but we also know that this transformation has come at a cost. From their earliest years, children are caught up in comput- ers, games, and tablets. In the waiting room of the doctor’s office, a mother hands her infant her smartphone, entertaining the child with an app while they wait for the doctor. In an earlier time, the mother might have spent the time talking with the child to keep her occupied. Parents and caregivers are using phones and tablets to provide entertainment, and toy manufacturers are pushing this trend, creating screen toys for young children and products that encourage the use of screens in ever-younger children. (The toy voted Worst Toy of 2012 by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood [CCFC] was the Laugh & Learn Apptivity Monkey by Fisher-Price. It is a stuffed monkey with an iPhone in its belly marketed for children as young as six months. In 2013 the winning toy was an iPotty by CTA Digital, a potty chair with a stand for attaching an iPad so the child can use the screen while toileting. Shortly after awarding the 2013 prize to the iPad potty chair, CCFC disclosed that Fisher-Price had released a new infant bouncy seat with an attachment for an iPad.) Research done in 2003 found that children under age six spent about two hours a day with screen media, including TVs, computers, DVD players, and video games (Rideout, Vandewater, and Wartella 2003). It is likely these numbers would be higher now, as so many more opportunities are available. As their world has narrowed to the size of a screen, children have come to lack curiosity about the outdoors. They watch TV shows about exotic creatures far away but may be ignorant about the wildlife living in their own backyards (Louv 2005). If children do want to go outdoors to explore, they face other barriers. Many of us can look around our communities and point to areas, once open 2  •  Chapter 1 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL