WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2017

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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when practical. They'll have children pull out their devices when it's applicable to a certain lesson." A Learning Friend Found with Apple Wellesley resident Diana Turk believes in the Waldorf School approach to using imagina- tion in learning and has long opposed any and all electronic media for her children. That's why she's still surprised to see how electronic devices have improved her 12-year-old son Jamie's learning abilities and advanced his social skills. Jamie has developmental delays and a lan- guage-based learning disability. He didn't speak until he was three and still struggles to catch the many meanings of words and phrases that children of his age readily grasp. After long resisting electronics, Diana let Jamie, on an educator's advice, use electronics so he could see a relationship between cause and effect. First came a big leap in his learn- ing of math through addition challenges based around a digital baseball game. Then came rapid speech development with his friend Siri, the artificial intelligence app on Apple devices. "With Siri, he has to enunciate and and be really clear in what he's saying," Diana said. "He uses the correct sounds for her to hear. And he can ask Siri 100 times a question like, 'Will it thunder in Wellesley tonight?' and she won't get frustrated with him for repeating the question over and over." Jamie now has an iPad and is learning social norms that had previously eluded him through interactive games such as Roblox, which lets him move through alternate social worlds and learn how to abide by the rules the virtual communities he's interacting in require. Diana sets usage limits — for about a half-hour per day and only when dinner is being prepared or only after homework is completed — but the strides that Jamie has made because of technology have changed her mind. "I've actually become a fan of electronics," she said. 159 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 7

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