Making a place for computers in the world of children

Computers have become an important part of our daily lives and will be even more so in the future. Computer literacy could become as important for elementary school children as reading and writing.

There has been much debate about whether computers should be used with younger children. Some educators doubt the value of modern technology with younger children. But some researchers have found that computer use with younger children has many learning benefits, especially when a supervising adult is involved. There was also a positive impact 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 growing brains absorb a lot of knowledge about their environment. A lot of data is analyzed and stored in memory cells. Positive play experiences, visual and auditory stimuli give a big boost to this process.

For example, I was pleasantly surprised one day when I saw my 2.5-year-old twins playing with their toy fish. They were holding a couple of dolphins, making jumping movements with their hands and dolphin sounds with their mouths at the same time. They pretended that the dolphins were playing in the water. Then they picked up a whale that started talking to the dolphins. They made whale sounds with a few “clicks” and “tweets”. As a mother, I was fascinated and of course very proud. I later learned that they were watching the encyclopedia with their father the day before and that they had watched the sound clips and the little video clips several times.

Exploring, creating and learning while having fun. This is a child’s life. For children, playing is more than just fun. By playing, children get to know themselves and their environment. They learn social skills, learn how to solve problems and also develop their motor skills. Play strengthens their creativity and imagination.

Nowadays, wonderful computer games and educational activities are available on the market for children. There are excellent websites on the internet that provide information and educational games for children. Parents and educators should find suitable play activities for their children. They should be challenging, but not frustrating or overwhelming. Parents are their child’s first play companions. Children enjoy play much more when a parent or family member is involved.

Should children surf the Internet? This is an “information highway”. It has its own benefits and risks. Children who use the Internet unsupervised pose a risk, but with a well-informed and responsible adult, it could bring many benefits. It’s like driving a car and getting around in a car. Children can drive safely and enjoy the information highway while a responsible adult is at the controls.

Of course, there should be a limit to the amount of time children can spend on the computer. In general, the rules may be similar to those used for watching television. Anything too much can be harmful. Taking too many vitamin pills in a day can also be harmful.