As a father, I go back and forth as to how much technology is too much technology for kids. On the one hand, kids have resources now that we didn't as kids ourselves and they need to keep up with the times. Additionally, the world is faster now and the old ways to learn don't exist anymore. On the other hand, why force technology when your kids will be exposed to it eventually? And is it even possible to buy toys or instructional tools without lights, sounds or buttons?
That all being said, I saw this article from the New York daily news about a new device Leap Frog developed to teach kids 3 years old and up how to "text" message. Now, it doesn't really send text messages, but rather teaches kids how to type on a pda/smartphone-like device. In that respect, it's no different than a Speak n' Spell, right? My main objection has more to do with a quote from the article itself:
"I would definitely consider getting one for Pete - in the vain hope it would keep him away from my cell, which he thinks is the seventh wonder of the universe,"Why is it so hard to tell your kid that a cell phone isn't a toy? That its "mommy's" or "daddy's" and they can't play with it? Instead of teaching them limits, we buy kids a kiddy version hoping it'll delay their craving for little while longer. Genius. How about being a parent to begin with and telling your kid "no?"
Oh, and 3 years old is way too early to start kids down this road. School age (6 or 7) at the earliest, IMO. What do you think?