Today, a computer becomes a familiar means of cognizing the world and ceases to be a luxury.
Many parents are concerned about the reports of the scientists who claim that the computer creates a harmful electromagnetic field that provokes malignant tumors, spoils vision, causes addiction. You can even read in the press that “children who spend a lot of time at the computer are more likely to suffer from autism”.
However, you also can read that “a child who does not have a computer in his cradle is already hopelessly backward in development”, “a PC opens up to children new opportunities, which simply did not exist in traditional education”, and that “in the modern world, a computer becomes the primary means of receiving information and communication”.
Thus, like any other thing or phenomenon, technology has two sides. Let’s talk about how to maximize benefits and avoid shortcomings.
At what age, a child may start using a computer?
First, a kid must explore the ordinary world. Experts say that he should have nothing to do with a computer until 3 years old.
Of course, it is interesting for children to watch games and the work of their parents. They want to press something and to see what happens. But still, the amount of knowledge necessary at this age may be received without a computer.
Younger schoolchildren get a pure pleasure and undoubted benefit from the technology. It entertains and educates, allows to make independent decisions and immediately see the effect.
The child may not just collect finished images but also create own cartoons, edit photos. In some schools, already in the junior classes, there are courses of Flash-animation (creation of cartoons), and even web-design in the middle classes.
Mums and dads should inform the child about the capabilities of a computer and the rules for using it. It is worth thinking together with the kid what is most interesting for him. Many parents lack the special knowledge to teach children how to work with a computer. In this case, it is advisable to enroll a child in special courses.
In addition to basic training, kids can learn graphics, the basics of animation, programming, creating pages on the Internet. Boys and girls engaged in research and creativity are well protected from the destructive boredom, one of the main problems of modern schoolchildren.
In addition, children’s games and cognitive programs successfully compete with encyclopedias: one may not only read why the plane flies and the bee buzzes, but also to visit, for example, the rainforest or the underwater world.
By the 3rd-4th grade, schoolchildren who use such programs already feel confident when working on a computer, demonstrate success in studies. Developmental programs contribute to the raising intellectual level and self-esteem, improving memory and speech.
Really, how can a person who played with wooden toys in childhood invent a cure for AIDS? The reaction rate of the modern pilots who grew up on computer games and trained on simulators is much higher than of previous generations of pilots.
Parents should be around
Of course, it is very good if children are helped by their parents who can explain how to focus on the task, advise the correct tactics, explain the directions of work. It is important to know how a child behaves and copes with difficult tasks. After all, not everyone is able to fully master the creative program.
Help the kid if you see that he cannot do something. And do not leave him alone!
A child who studies technology without the help of adults can begin to waste time on useless programs or brutal games. Do not forget that the computer is not a nanny and not a way to neutralize the child while mom and dad are busy.
If we want the technology not only to entertain but also to bring real benefits, adults should do a serious job: read magazines devoted to computers, developing programs, games, and the Internet, learn to orientate in them and make a competent choice.
A good program makes it possible for a child to create something independently, and not just blindly follow a plan of the developers.
Many game programs offer pictures, postcards which can be printed out. Especially useful are those games that give the kid information, allow using it to make a decision, draw conclusions and solve the problem.
Attention, the Internet!
Sooner or later, a child who has mastered a home computer will come to the Internet – a huge city, where there are libraries, museums, and dirty brothels.
Letting the child wander there alone is like allowing him to walk of thousands of miles from home, for example, in Bangkok.
It is up to you to decide to what extent you trust your children, but remember: often moms and dads find out that the child, despite all the preventive talks conducted with him, went for a walk on the “World Wide Web” and brought viruses to the home computer.
Explain to the kid that nobody gives free candies on the Internet. If he downloads an archive, it may contain a Trojan virus.
If he opens a file embedded in a letter from an unknown person, there may be a “worm”. Viruses appear more often than antiviruses are updated, tricks become more sophisticated, enemy programs imitate letters from friends and promise pleasant things.
The child must be taught to recognize the enemy and not to believe in his tricks. You can try to protect your computer with an anti-virus program and a firewall. Search engines on the Internet offer special filters.
But no filter will protect your child. Filters should be present in the child himself. Try to explain that even on the Web, even under a pseudonym, even in conditions of anonymity, one should not do anything illegal and contradict to the human values.
It is known that access to websites containing scenes of violence, pornography, the propaganda of drugs or criminal activities can be obtained even when you do not want it.
But if an adult user immediately removes spam, does not open letters from strangers and automatically ignores the banners of porn sites, the child still has to work out such a reaction.
Help him learn the rules of work on the Web. Teach him to evaluate the information received there, to distinguish reliable and proven such as Pro-Papers writing service from fraudulent websites.