Starting Age: When should computers be introduced to children?

I was reading a post from a fellow student about when computers should be introduced to children. She was discussing the merits of getting children started using ICTs in education, even if it’s only controlling the mouse. She also pointed out that there is some fantastic resources available for this age group.

This is what I posted on her blog in response:

“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.”

One thought on “Starting Age: When should computers be introduced to children?

  1. HI Scott,
    Very valid point, I think we all understand that the future for learning at all levels is ICTs and the future is now. In my teaching and as part of the trade, I see the advancement on a day to day basis. Apps for understanding and completing complicated electrical problems on the job site, ordering and researching products and materials to name a few.
    In part of the training the students undergo at TAFE, they have to complete a basic computer competency. The younger apprentices, school students and recent school leavers have little to no trouble, however the more mature students struggle and require more time because of the lack of familiarity in this area. I myself had to do a computer course at UNI to be able to deliver the subject effectively.
    I totally agree that the sooner people become familiar with ICT use the better it will be. My son is 3 in May and already is a champion on the IPad, spelling games, animal knowledge, colours, numbers ETC. I wish I would have had this form of tech when I was his age.
    Scottie

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