Make a place for computers in children's world
Computers have become an important part of our everyday lives
and will be even more in the future. Knowledge about computers
might become as important to elementary school children as
reading and writing.
There has been a lot of debate whether computers should be used
with younger children. Some educators doubt the value of modern
technology with younger kids. But some researchers have found
lot of positive learning benefits with the use of computers in
younger kids, especially when an adult supervisor is involved.
Positive impact has also been found on children with
disabilities or special needs. It has been said that "Technology
can change the way children think and learn."
Children are great "thinkers". Their rapidly growing brains are
assimilating a lot of knowledge from their surroundings. Lot of
data is analyzed and stored in the memory cells. Positive play
experiences, visual and auditory stimuli give a big boost to
For example; I was pleasantly surprised one day when I saw my
2and half year old twin girls playing with their toy fishes.
They were holding a couple of dolphins, making jumping movements
with their hands and dolphin sounds with their mouth at the same
time. They were pretending that the dolphins are playing in the
water. Then they picked up a whale which started talking to the
dolphins. They made whale sounds with some "clicks" and
"tweets". Being a mother I was fascinated and of course very
proud. I learned later that they were looking at the
Encyclopedia with their dad, on the earlier day and had
repeatedly watched the sound clips and little video clips.
Explore, create and learn while having fun. That is a child's
life. Playing is a lot more to children then just having fun. As
children play, they learn about themselves and their surrounding
environment. They learn social skills, learn to solve problems
and also develop their motor skills. Playing enhances their
creativity and imagination.
These days wonderful computer based educational games and
activities are available in the market for children. There are
excellent websites on the internet, which provide information
and educational games for children. Parents and caregivers
should find play activities fit for their children. They should
be challenging, but not frustrating or overwhelming. Parents are
their child's first playmates. Children enjoy a game lot more
when a parent or family member is involved in the play.
Should children surf on the internet? It is "information
super-highway." It has its own benefits and risks. Children
using internet without supervision is a risk, but with a
knowledgeable and responsible adult it could bring lot of
benefits. It is just like driving a car and riding a car.
Children can safely ride and enjoy the information super highway
while a responsible adult is in the driver's seat.
Of course there should be a limit on how much time children can
spend on the computer. As a general guideline the rules can be
similar to those used for viewing TV. Anything done in excess
can be harmful. Consumption of too many vitamin tablets in a day
can also be harmful.
Dr.Kanchan Bodas Editor www.springboardmagazine.com