Starting Age: When should computers be introduced to children?

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.


6 thoughts on “Starting Age: When should computers be introduced to children?

  1. Hi Miss Bennett,

    I enjoyed reading this. I have never really had an answer for this topic, but after reading this I am really thinking about introducing computers to young children as soon as possible. thank-you for commenting on this topic. 🙂

  2. Hi Miss Bennett,

    I really enjoyed reading your post. It deals with a subject many early childhood educators and parents are trying to tackle. What I find interesting is just how many children are already using ICTs at a very young age. All you need to do is see some of the apps available to see that this group of learners is being considered more and more.


  3. Hi Miss Bennett,

    I really enjoyed reading your post above. I loved how you liked it to the Early Years Learning Framework – Outcome 4.

  4. Hi Miss Bennett.

    I think there is a lot of merit to introducing children to ICTs at a very early age. I have seen children at home using computers before even being able to read. Admittedly there is a bit of guess work happening, but they are able to watch what someone else does and remember what to do by recognising the process even if they can’t read yet. Kids can so easily pick up new concepts at this time of their lives. Introducing ICTs at this stage will make using ICTs in the future second nature. I also think that looking at the other extreme illustrates this point. Watching people that did not grow up with ICT trying to use a computer shows how difficult and frustrating it can be to come to grips with the concept of ICT. I really don’t think its ever too early to get them started.

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  6. Hi Miss Bennett,
    I too have recieved help from my grandchildren, 3+5 when it comes to using my ipad. I think children are able to explore the digital resources without the fear some adults exhibit. They are not afraid of trying it out and even though ‘Johnny’ may not be able to read he knows which buttons to tap in oder to get in/put of the screen. I think this lack of inhibition is one of their greatest assetts when it comes to technology. Fawn

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