In this day and age where technology is so common and the internet so easily available, the sooner we learn about it the better it would be; it has become one of the necessities in life. And the easiest way to accomplish that is to start from an early age getting acquainted with computers – typing, getting information from the internet and the necessary hand-eye coordination required for using the mouse as well as accessing programs.
One of the easiest ways for children to get acquainted with the computer is through games. There are many games out there in the market that cater to this, allowing children to discover the joy of using the computer, and coordinating using the mouse along with coordinating their hand-eye coordination for the computer. There are even programs or games for children to cultivate typing skills, making it fun to learn and enhancing their efficiency with the computer. Children nowadays seem to have an innate ability to quickly assimilate using the computer with much more ease then if an adult were to start learning how to use the computer. Getting them familiar with common parts of the computer like the monitor, mouse and CPU are good ways to start – teaching them how to switch on and shut down a computer properly.
As children mature, introducing them to commonly used word editing programs, e.g. Microsoft Word or Excel, enables them to be better equipped for project submissions later on in life. To make this more interesting, it is possible to allow them to type out short stories along with inserted pictures, which they can print out in color. This way, it becomes more interesting for them as there is physical evidence of what they have done on that piece of paper. It can give them a sense of accomplishment and makes them like using the computer all the more.
Fun programs that involve the editing of photos or creation of calendars, cards or posters, can also be used to make learning how to use the computer fun for them. It also sets a good platform when they start on their very first school project report that involves using the computer.
The next step would be to introduce them to the wonderful world of the internet. Although there is a wondrous amount of information on the web not everything is good, so supervising children in the initial stage would be crucial to keep them ‘safe’ from possible cyber dangers. From setting up an email account, sending emails, searching for information on the net to chatting online – it would be best if they were supervised in the initial stages. For the jittery parent, there are programs available which grant control to parents for monitoring the surfing habits of their child, as well as prevent them from going to certain places on the net.
Soon enough when children have found their “feet” around using the computer, parents will be finding themselves’ not wanting them to spend so much time on the computer anymore; everything should be done in moderation. You would not want your child to simply stare at the computer screen doing that project or playing those games for hours on end. Instilling in them a good sense of time keeping is also important – how long they should be on the computer before resting their eyes in an appropriate manner, should they want to continue: this not only helps them preserve their eyesight but also (hopefully) avoiding wearing spectacles or at least those really thick ones.