Kids and Computers

Each member of our family has a computer of her own which she is allowed to use without any restrictions. This doesn’t mean we spend all our time looking at screens. No, we like to do other things too like run and bushwalk, cook and read, sew and play music, talk to each other!

But we do value our computers. We regard them as a very useful tool. They open up the world to us and allow us to get involved with many valuable learning experiences.

In this week’s podcast, my daughter Imogen joins me to talk about children and computers. Some of the questions we discuss include:

  • Should children be allowed to use a computer?
  • What kind of opportunities for learning do computers offer?
  • Can Facebook be valuable?
  • Should children’s time on the computer be restricted?
  • How do we encourage a child to balance their computer time with other activities?
  • Should we respect a child’s creative space?
  • Can playing computer games be a worthwhile thing to do?
  • Can people make a living out of playing computer games?
  • And is there another way to influence children other than rules and regulations?

This topic can be a contentious one. Your opinions might differ from ours. We respect that. These thoughts are the result of our experience with our own family. Your children might be very different to ours. If you do disagree, that’s quite okay. We can still have an interesting and friendly discussion, can’t we?

Program Notes

Gamestar Mechanic
Learn to design video games

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

Blog posts about children and computers

Watching TV, Playing on the Computer, Doing Nothing Much at All

We might be able to accept the computer is a valid tool for learning. We might even be happy to let our children play computer games. Maybe the problem isn’t actually the computer (or the TV). It could just be the amount of time a child spends using them. We might worry when we see a child sitting in front of a screen hour after hour. We might feel like saying, “Go and do something else! Go outside and get some fresh air!” How do we get our kids to balance their screen time with other activities? Can we?
But do we consider animating and game playing and game design as worthwhile activities for children to be involved with? Are we willing to let them work for as long as they want? Work? Or a waste of time? I guess that’s the big question. 

Lots of Interesting Stuff for Children to Do on the Computer

The girls are sitting in front of their computers. You know how it is…. they’re probably playing computer games, ‘wasting time’… or are they?

Music: 60’s Quiz Show by Podington Bear, (CC BY-NC 3.0)

If you listen to our podcast… Thank you!

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