Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Battle of the Generations

I've always considered myself relatively good with computers.  I've completed a degree in Computer Information Systems.  I use computers every day, and have a tablet and a smartphone which I regularly use as well.

Yet my son, who isn't four yet, can already teach me stuff on computers.  He's far more comfortable working with the tablet than I was at first - all I can think is that I am used to working computers a certain way (e.g. with a mouse and keyboard) and he doesn't have any preconceived ideas as to how it 'should' work.  The other day he tried to hack a neighbours wi-fi - didn't manage it, but full marks for effort. (I jest of course, he stumbled on the menu by mistake, but he still had a great time typing away into the password box)

I was watching this video from Sky Sunrise about tech savvy kids, and I do agree that parents do need to be concerned about how many hours their children spend using technology.  My son probably uses a tablet at most perhaps half an hour a day, to watch a cartoon or play a number of educational games I've installed for him.

The makers of the games, as an aside, are very cunning, because the free versions of the games are packed with adverts and of course these adverts behave differently to everything else in the game - for example, you might press on a picture of an apple, and the game speaks "Apple.", but if you press the advert next to the picture of an apple, the game closes and the tablet takes you to the website selling the thing on the advert.  This frustrates my son so as a result I'm looking at buying full versions of the games he finds most popular (which to be fair isn't a bad thing - it supports the makers of the games and the full versions generally have more features anyway)

I'd be interested to hear your views.  Should kids be kept away from technology? Or should they learn to engage with it from an early age?

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