Teaching children about computer

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Teaching children about computer

Postby lchunleo » Mon Jul 20, 2015 5:14 pm

Hi

like to get some opinions on this and check out if any parents teach their children (i meant preschooler) computer programming or simple electronics? What is your view on this? Too early?

Thank you for your view

lchunleo
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Re: Teaching children about computer

Postby zbear » Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:11 am

Children nowadays are very smart n picks up PC skills very easily.

IMHO, don't start your kids too early on any IT gadgets like PC, Ipad, Smart Phone etc. Its very addictive n not good for eye sight too.

Preschool time is best spent on learning/playing/bonding from/within the environment - eg reading, games, outdoor activities.

I have seen many parents at foodcourts/restaurants giving their pre-schoolers an Ipad to keep them entertained. This is bad. Imagine, next time, when the kid grow up, he will constantly need to bring an Ipad when he takes his meals outside.

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Re: Teaching children about computer

Postby slmkhoo » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:00 am

Preschoolers' "computer skills" are mainly pressing buttons and playing games. Used carefully, it probably does no harm, but my view is that most things are better learned using physical objects/games/books. I'm not sure if most preschoolers are mentally ready to learn about the technology and coding behind what is seen on the screen, and whether anyone teaches this to that age group. If a parent knows about all this and can introduce it gradually, that may work.

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Re: Teaching children about computer

Postby janet88 » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:06 am

zbear wrote:I have seen many parents at foodcourts/restaurants giving their pre-schoolers an Ipad to keep them entertained. This is bad. Imagine, next time, when the kid grow up, he will constantly need to bring an Ipad when he takes his meals outside.

is the ipad/smartphone supposed to entertain the child so that it's easier to feed him/her? it's unsightly.

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Re: Teaching children about computer

Postby lchunleo » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:43 am

just some thought, but i do agree that that tech gadgets are not good especially feeding..but just some kopi talk, coming from another perspective, a tablet/phone is a technology replacement of a book/game? If imagine that the tech gadgets are not affecting the vision for a second, and our children are holding on to "book" that can talk and move? So are the health and knowledge benefits are two separate things? the tech gadget is just another media conduit for information dissemination...sorry hope i don't ruffle too much feathers here but just thinking aloud..:D

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Re: Teaching children about computer

Postby slmkhoo » Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:56 am

lchunleo wrote:... and our children are holding on to "book" that can talk and move? So are the health and knowledge benefits are two separate things? the tech gadget is just another media conduit for information dissemination...sorry hope i don't ruffle too much feathers here but just thinking aloud..:D

Learning for kids is not just about getting information. From my observation of my own kids and others, I think that information from screens is "learned" very differently from other means such as books and physical objects. The latter require more effort to manipulate and understand, and there is more training of the brain. Information from screens tends to be fast, colourful and stimulating, but has the effect of numbing the brain and making the child more dependent on such stimulation. That's why it's addictive, and also why kids who are used to screens usually find reading too boring and "hard".

Screen activities also cannot replace physical skills such as building blocks, doing jigsaws, carrying out science experiments etc as there is much less physcial precision required. So while I believe that info delivered through gadgets has its place in education and is invaluable for older kids, I think it should be strictly limited for young kids.

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Re: Teaching children about computer

Postby jetsetter » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:12 am

lchunleo wrote:Hi

like to get some opinions on this and check out if any parents teach their children (i meant preschooler) computer programming or simple electronics? What is your view on this? Too early?

Thank you for your view


Computer programming per se is way too advanced for preschoolers. But teaching them typing skills, surfing, googling for research purposes should be done in Preschool. For instance, my then preschool kid would type the HYPY to search for his fav Chinese songs or cartoons on YouTube, google for some diff Chinese characters when he needed to write zuowen.

They also did Eng spelling/dictation in the preschool computer lab by typing the words on PC, i.e. being able to SHIFT+CAPS, locate the punctuation keys, press ENTER, SPACE, manouevre the mouse competently, Minimising/Expanding/Closing the Windows, Go to START/My Computer to find folders of last exercise.

For Show & Tell in some progressive enrichment centres, preschool kids/lower pri kids would present by using MS Powerpoint. Of course the slide animation (save the content) will be created by the adult la.

I don't think there's anything wrong with playing PC games on iPad or laptop for a couple of minutes on weekends, on the plane, or whilst waiting for parents to buy food from stalls. They will become very adept at navigating from page to page after a short while. Some PC games are good for your preschooler, e.g. Hay Day, Farmville, Cityville, SimCity, Chess, Math or Geog Quizzes. I allowed my then 3-yo kid to help me "grow", "build", "earn", "harvest" & "invest" my virtual money on these online games when I'm not free to feed my avatar.

My kid is now very good at Candy Crush.

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Re: Teaching children about computer

Postby Funz » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:31 am

At preschool age, kids learning experiences should be tactile, real. As in their experiences should be real. If you talk about reading a book, then it should be a book that the kid is touching, holding and looking at the pictures in them. If you talk about story telling then it should be an actual person telling them the story instead of an audio playback from a device. Ideally the story teller should engage the kids base on their response and reaction to the story. A device will not be able to do that.

At K1 and K2, kids can be taught to operate the computer and apps like Word or Powerpoint and to google for information in the course of their work. But not to specifically have a course just to teach them computer usage. There is really no need for that.

Gadgets and all the info that can be gotten from the www can be a powerful tool to aid teaching but it should not be a substitute for the real things. Watching an experiment on youtube is not the same as doing the experiment yourself, predicting the outcome and inferring from the outcome.

That said, I am all for textbooks being digitised so that it can be stored into tabs or iPads and all the kids need to bring to school is that 1 device and all their textbooks are in there. Lighten their bag a lot.

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Re: Teaching children about computer

Postby slmkhoo » Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:48 am

Funz wrote:That said, I am all for textbooks being digitised so that it can be stored into tabs or iPads and all the kids need to bring to school is that 1 device and all their textbooks are in there. Lighten their bag a lot.

But that's when they are older. I agree with all you say about gadgets for preschoolers. The problem with e-textbooks is that it's hard to take notes. Some allow you to add notes, but somehow, it's just not as convenient as using a pencil on a page! My kids did internet school for a few years while overseas (sec school age), and they would make notes on a separate document/notebook as the texts were not "theirs" to make notes on. It wasn't a very good way to study. Maybe what we need are textbooks that can be taken apart so kids bring sections to school instead of the whole book?

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Re: Teaching children about computer

Postby lchunleo » Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:31 pm

yes, i like the hands on experience teaching instead of the gadgets. i had tried to use experiments but sadly i can't sustain it for a long period of time as it is not easy to have so many engaging activities...until a point, where you look at me, i look at you, what shall we do next?..that why sometime the gadget things slip in to get myself some breathing space... :boogie:

recently, i went to this Makers Faire exhibition, am inspired to do something like that in my house with my kids but thinking of the preparation works upfront...wow.....

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