A fellow student, Alannah, posed the following question “When should computers be introduced to children?” I personally believe that children should be introduced to computers as early as possible and I will share with you some of me reasons why. Within the early years you may only be teaching the children how to use a mouse or simple operating functions of a computer. The reasoning behind doing this is to give children the power to have a go at different activities that involve ICTs and not having the educator controlling the mouse all the time.
It is important remember that when using ICTs as a learning tool throughout the early years, children will begin to gain a small understanding of how computers work through observing the educator manipulating the tools involved to operate a computer.
The Early Years Learning Framework also covers the use of ICTs through Outcome number four which states that, “Children are confident and involved learners”. Within the digital age it is assumed that this outcome incorporates the use of technologies in children’s learning. It is expected that children experiment with the use of both ITs (Information technologies) and ICTs (Information communication technologies) to investigate and solve problems. The only way children can become confident with the use of ICTs is if they explore and have a go. This leads to the fact that children as young as three or even two, depending on there maturity level, can be introduced to computer. It may not be appropriate to allow 1 year old to play on the computer since they may have more fun breaking the mouse by banging it against the table therefore it is a little young. However as soon as a child understands that we must treat the ICT and ITs with respect them it is time to start using them.
I personally have witnessed the following observation. My Boyfriends three year old niece, Sophia, and her parents came over to our house for dinner one evening. Since we don’t have a child friendly house with activity’s to keep a three year old entertained Sophia’s mum had bought her, that right her, Ipad for her to play with during diner. At one point Sophia mum wanted to show us some something (I can not remember exactly what, but that fact is not believed to be relevant). She was unable to find it and have to ask Sophia her three year old daughter what she had to do!! Amazing if you ask me, if we give the children the opportunity to explore and learn then the possibilities are endless.
If you have any comments please feel free to leave them.
Thanks for reading.