Computers Too Soon?
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Thread: Computers Too Soon?

  1. #1
    AntiOnline Newbie
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    Post Computers Too Soon?

    Doesn't it seem that kids these days are being introduced to computers too early?

    I have 3 kids and they and their friends seem to have a helluva time doing any school work or homework if it's not connected to a computer. They don't seem to have the same level or reading comprehension that me and my brothers (and our classmates) had and they definitely do not have a good grasp mathematical processes or scientific methods.

    I have had to sit down with my boy and make him rewrite reports as he had copied them verbatim from websites he was using for "research". Plagerism seems to be a foreign concept anymore. Their are websites kids can go to to get science fair projects that are set up "cookbook" fashion - start to finish - that require little or no investigation or reasoning on the part of the user. Just seems to defeat the purpose of it all to me...

    Kids today are starting into computer labs in kindergarten! We are raising a generation of people who are too reliant on technology to complete their dya-to-day tasks... How many times have you heard "We can't do anything, the computers are down right now"? I guess a piece of paper and a pencil are out of the question.

    My thoughts - computers should not be widely used in schools until Jr. High School, after the kids have developed a solid foundation of using books and reference materials that help them understand who, what, when, where and why instead of the trap they are in now which is read, reiterate and regurgitate with no understanding of the concepts or processes involved in reaching conclusions.

    Don't get me wrong. I make my living through computers and IS, but is it just me? Does anybody else see this as a problem? Or am I finally becoming my parents?

  2. #2
    Priapistic Monk KorpDeath's Avatar
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    You have to teach them the appropriate use of a computer, it really is that simple. I have three kids, 2,8,10. All know how to use a computer. Yeah the 2 year old knows how to put her Elmo CD in the drive and click to start the program, so I call that using a computer.

    Anyway, computers are a tool. You need to teach kids just that. As important as a pencil, or a slide-rule, compass, etc. When the time comes they will use those too.

    To exclude children from computers because they might use it to cheat is, for all intents and purposes, ludicrous.

    I'm sorry you had that experience with your child but try to keep it in perspective.
    Mankind have a great aversion to intellectual labor; but even supposing knowledge to be easily attainable, more people would be content to be ignorant than would take even a little trouble to acquire it.
    - Samuel Johnson

  3. #3
    TechieChick
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    I agree, they need to be taught and taught properly. But.....it's amazing to me how many parents don't care. People assume becouse of what I do for a living my kids are wired but no, my three year old hasn't touched a computer yet and my 7 year old barely if ever and that's only with my supervision while we look something up. He has access at school and I'm still not comfortable with that.

    Back to the parent issue...good for you Specter6, hold your ground and be a good parent. I offered classes this past year through community ed on keeping your kids safe on the internet, 3 different classes, at night so it'd be easier for everyone and not one person signed up. Not one person called to inquire even. Call me an idealist but I was a bit disgusted.

    Shouldn't have been surprised really...it's a loosing battle on a daily basis.

  4. #4
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    Well, myself only being 15, i think i have the best year to be born in.. 1986. I wasn't introduced into computers until i was 9 or 10 years old. And before that.. i had a pretty good understanding of books, and reference =)

    um.. ever since 5th grade, i have been extremely into computers. I've went from asking the questions, to answering them =)..

    I still ask, questions here and there but now its more of a solid: This is how you would solve your problem, or issue. <-- hehe

    its a good idea to have computers used in jr high.

    in my school district its' like this:

    elementery (k-4th grade) - a few computers
    middle school (5th-8th grades) - 2 actual computer labs, with 50 computers in each
    high school (9th - 12th grades) - 4 computer labs, with about 50 computers in each lab

    and yes, plagerism is a high risk these days.. but, also in books you can do plagerism.. so you have to trust yourself, and others =)

    i hope my two cents helped. =)
    my pages: (great resources for everyone)
    geeksarecool.com resource for computers, hacking, virii, wutnot.
    thepillbox.net archive of logs and resource for laughter.
    --enjoy these pages, as they grow.

  5. #5
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    Well said Korp, I agree w/ you, but I can see the point of comps. making it easier to cheat, but not just in elementary or jr/hgh school. . .when I first started going to college we had the option to take intro to comp. w/ a lab, or comp. I w/ no lab, lot's o people took the comp. I class and wound up hating it, our final was the magic square, eeeeeewww, heh heh, I laugh at it now, but had a helleva time writing my own, anywho, I turned mine in early and when people saw I was done they started to offer me money to write their's, I did a quick search and found exactly what I busted my nuts making. . .and this one was better (we hadn't learned about pointers yet). So anyone that asked me got a copy of that, I didn't charge btw, the point though, just like Korp said. . .gotta teach 'em it's a tool. Most of those people that got the copy I was handing out wound up failing cause they didn't even change the comments B^)).

  6. #6
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    People have talked a lot about the "great digital divide",
    the dividing line between those who can use computers, and
    those who can't.
    There is a lot of fear that they will be left behind
    in the race for success if they don't start early.

    I think the digital divide is between those who
    program and control computers on one hand,
    versus those who only use them on the other.

    For people who are not going into IT careers, a lot of their
    early computer use is a waste of time, and would be better spent
    studying general academic subjects in the traditional way.

    For those who are obsessed with computers (you know who you are)
    the time you spend at the keyboard is making you into the
    DIGITAL ELITE!
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  7. #7
    AntiOnline Newbie
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    Originally posted here by TechieChick
    Back to the parent issue...good for you Specter6, hold your ground and be a good parent. I offered classes this past year through community ed on keeping your kids safe on the internet, 3 different classes, at night so it'd be easier for everyone and not one person signed up. Not one person called to inquire even. Call me an idealist but I was a bit disgusted.
    And I will hold my ground. My kids all have email address which are locked down to receive mail from family members only and they are able to access their email whenever they want to - as long as the wife or I are right there with them.

    They, too, have internet access at school which I'm not thrilled about, either. I have been to many of the schools in our school district and have met many of the "IT" people who work for said district and I am not even close to convinced they know how to monitor and/or isolate traffice on their domains... but that is an entirely different post altogether.

    I have also taught many classes to Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops as well as to several community groups about online safety and in particular how to protect kids. Although I have never had a class zero out in registrations, I have been frustrated at the lack of attentiveness and enthusiasm of a lot of those who did attend.

    Now I am actually preparing to present several classes intending to narrow the "digital divide" and provide basic computer and Internet literacy classes to senior citizens who find themselves with a new PC and no idea of how to use it or what can be done with it.

    Anywho... thanks for the support and kind words.

  8. #8
    Flash M0nkey
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    Hmmmmm its a difficult issue with no right or wrong answer.....personnaly I think that kids should be introduced to computers at an early age but with strict supervision to begin with - pehaps even disconnect the internet for the first wee while - just so they can get used to using the keyboard and mouse and find out how a computer works and what you can do with it - then maybe letting them surf a list of safe sites that the parents have checked before hand.....but as mentioned above it doens't matter how much you supervise your childs internet usage at homs they can still get access at school, local librarys, cyber cafes or their friends houses - is same as anything else where kids are concerned you can't watch them 24/7

    v_Ln

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    To early for Computers? No.

    I have been using computers since 1989 (perhaps a bit before then). I was 10. I have grown up with using computers, and the internet. But the internet in 1995-97 is a whole lot different than today. A lot more mainstream information, so back then, I couldn't exactly go to a website, find something I could copy, call it my own, and turn it into my teacher. I used encylopedia's and other books for that.

    In my elementary school, we had a Apple ][e lab. Which we visited once a week, for about a half hour. We didn't do much, just played some games (Oregon Trail anyone?) and used a cheesy typing program.

    I hear about how schools are using computers for most all classes now. I think that is OK. In High School, and perhaps Jr. High. But NOT elementary school. Young kids need to learn the basics, then move towards a tool that lets them cut through the repetitive crap, and let them learn the answers of difficult questions.

    So I guess I am agreeing with you on that Specter.

    My thoughts - computers should not be widely used in schools until Jr. High School, after the kids have developed a solid foundation of using books and reference materials that help them understand who, what, when, where and why instead of the trap they are in now which is read, reiterate and regurgitate with no understanding of the concepts or processes involved in reaching conclusions.
    savIRC :: The Multi-Platform IRC Client v. 1.8 [Released 9.04.02]

  10. #10
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    Thought I would add my little bit though totally to the other end of the spectrum of education. Not the kids but the student. On the course Im currently studying, which is computer systems/science and networks we have some of the toughest rules on our references when writing a papers. We have to have a minimum of 2 book references and 6 internet minim under our research, after that has been reached we must try to maintain a ratio of 1:3, of book and 'net respectively. Im about 2 year older than my peers generally, when I watch them I the library then are like a group headless chickens set loose, they seam to think that they are hunting they come into the library in packs and spend hours and hours in there, reading every book that has anything at all to do with the board subject matter. These are supposed to be academic, these are the next set of professionals that is being produced!!!!! Because of the age gap leading to a lack of maturity, with those in my year (this is manly because Im in the first year and most of them have come from home and still are a little wet behind the ears so to speak in terms of the real world) I tend to be with the older student which tend to be in a higher year. Speaking to them is funny, there are people I regular talk to that spend less time in the library than many of the first years and there final year.

    On the other hand I also see many mature student that have the reverse problem, they go into the library and work though book work with ease. You see the same mature students in the computer labs for hours and hours and they come out with very little. Many a time I have been asked to help out because they cant find the information they are looking for, they have spent hours and hours looking for it. I sit down help them out and normally within a short period of time I have found them what they are looking for.

    Here seams to be a small group that seam to have both sets of skills down to an art, these tend to be the ones that are slightly older than myself. This group seams to have the library skills and have developed there net skills.

    Personally I feel weaker on my library skills than my net skills but I still have a lot of refinement on both areas. What in trying to get at is really that both sets of skills are important. Introducing computer at a young age with our society tendency to be more and more into IT reliance is a good idea, what needs to be looked at is stopping the tendency to become depend on IT, try to get a balance on both book and the net skills, starting both sets of skills at a young age will allow them as much time to develop these skills.

    Kindred69
    ForeverLearning

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