Kids and technology


It’s a topic that’s been in the news for a long time and almost always with negative connotations. Kids playing games with violence in them turning violent and becoming disobedient. But there are positive outcomes too.

I was watching in amazement at my youngest daughter, yesterday, as she was playing Mahjong Solitaire (not to be confused with the actual Mahjong game). But it’s just a pattern-matching game, you might say. Except there are quite a number of various patterns on the tiles, some look similar to others and in various colours, so not always so simple to find the matching tiles.

But it’s not only the fact that she can manage to finish some of the levels on her own but that she has already figured out how to navigate the various menus to start a new game or exit the game and start another one. I think we need to be worried once she figures out how to use Windows Explorer!

Oh, did I mention, she only turned 3 last month? Yup. Think back to when you were a kid at that age. Would we too have been able to so quickly grasp those concepts that some just can’t get. Remember it’s not just the fact that she manages to find the matching pairs but at the same time she’s moving the mouse around which in turn moves the mouse cursor to where she wants it to be as well as clicking the mouse button at the right time.

I’ve been working with computers for the last 24 years and pretty much take the act of using a keyboard without looking at the keys and using a mouse to navigate around a website or application for granted. But take two minutes and just think about all those neurons firing in your brain to be able to make all those connections and make us do the things we do and then think of all of that happening in a three year old’s brain.

Our eldest was also a semi-pro using the computer when she was her sister’s age. Now that she’s in grade 1 and quickly learning to read more and more her computer use is going to get better and most likely more frequent. Good thing I’ve been systematically keeping tabs on the various technologies out there which I will have to implement once the kids start using the computers more regularly. As technology advances I think too our kids are getting smarter and smarter. One of these days we’ll have a generation of toddlers that will be re-programming our VCRs (sheesh giving away my age there), erm, I mean PVRs and understanding what they’re doing not just randomly pressing buttons or hiding jam-sandwiches or keys where they shouldn’t go!

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6 Responses to “Kids and technology”

  1. I enjoyed your post. You’ve highlighed the “up shot” of the technological revolution — kids getting on at the ground level and becoming computer literate at very young ages. My post is about the “down side” of the technological revolution and what it might be doing to our kids attention spans, creativity, language skills (texting jargon is all ready working its way into school writing assignments), and socialization. It’s an interesting question to consider whether there’s a Darwinian effect (both good and bad) going on with our kids’ brain development?

    • @klspangler – thanks for the blog visit and the comment, appreciate it. You’re right there’s always an upside and a down side to everything. If uncontrolled and/or unsupervised I think computer and technology use by kids might have more of a downside than up.

      I hate the SMS shorthand and it’s unfortunate that kids are starting to use this more and more in not only their school work but in all forms of written communication.

      As with everything they keyword is “moderation”
      🙂

  2. lol… that’s a good post there Deems… I’m just cracking myself since I know your daughters, and try to imagine her playing the game…
    Mind games are thrilling to the kids since it drives edge of “can I do it?” or “what is this?” or “How can I do it?” or “what happens if I do this?” well in general technology has it ups or downs per individual – young or old. Not only that, its also on how much you know of something too. It can be good or bad too.

    Deems try this… increase the difficulty level of the game and watch 🙂 you will be even more amazed by the response.

    TBG

    • @TBG – thanks mate – yeah you know them so you know how busy they can get. LOL, they both have my level of patience so they get upset/give up with levels if it takes them too long to find the matching pairs 🙂

  3. This is a very well thought-out post. But mind you there is only one small loop-hole… These kids are introduced to the technology at a young age, therefore they are going to grow up into a life of advanced technology. Yet, if parents did not introduce them to computers until a later age(not saying that anyone’s a bad parent or anything like that) then they would grow up to know just as much about computers as you and I.

    • @Josh – firstly, thanks for stopping by and for commenting.

      Growing up, our parents offered us as much as possible (within bounds) and I too am a firm believer in giving/allowing our kids as many opportunities as possible – since I’m in the IT field I tend to try and keep up with technology as much as I can and if my kids end up overtaking me with regard to keeping up with technology then so be it. With technology becoming so integrated in our everyday lives, whether we want it to or not, I think the more of an advantage I can give them (and if they want it) the better.

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