In today's world
it has almost become compulsory to have a working knowledge of computers.
You hear bewildering stories of fourteen year olds who hack into the Pentagon
computers, or teenagers who create software worth millions and are touted
as the technological giants of tomorrow. Most schools teach computer programming
as a regular part of the curriculum. It is impossible to prevent children
from becoming computer savvy (and we don't want to either) but then it becomes
incumbent upon parents to be aware of all the ramifications of having computer
|Working With Computers - advantages and disadvantages of computer
have certain advantages and disadvantages.
convenient. It helps to reduce more basic skills like spelling
and mental calculations.
important new skills
bad for eyesight and contributes to obesity.
with the rest of the world through the internet.
to cut the child off from people around him, as he stays busy
with the computer.
are excellent learning tools because the multimedia makes education fun
as well as informative. Infact computer training institutes especially
for children are mushrooming all over the country. There are also many
CDRoms available, specially designed as learning tools for children of
different age groups. They teach through games, activities and multimedia.
They are excellent in the classroom, and home, as a supplement to the
normal teaching process. The problem begins when the use of computers
spills over into the child's leisure time. The time that should be spent
with family or in healthy physical activity or in reading
or some other hobby is spent at the
computer. Also a computer tends to isolate a child making him less social
the usefulness of the internet is not in doubt - you can find almost anything
here. That in fact, is the problem - you can also find the worst kinds
of hate cults, pornography and sadomasochistic cults on the net. Further,
surfing is addictive, as many adults have discovered. It can lead to retreat
from the world of reality into the world of virtual reality.
aspect to computers are computer games. Most parents welcome these as
keeping the child occupied and happy - and after all he is only playing
a game. Unfortunately the maximum games on the market (and certainly the
most popular) are those that teach violence and war. They are about conquest
and battle strategies, whether intergalactic or on this planet. Or a child
'plays' sports like football without enjoying any of their real life benefits.
And of course there are thousands of card games that teach children all
they need to know about gambling. There are a few games that teach coordination
and thinking skills but not only are they few and far between but you
have to really look hard to find them. The effort however is worth the
while. Check out the different games available before you let your children
loose on the gaming circuits.
and the internet are very useful educational and recreational
tools for children but they require careful monitoring and parental
awareness in order to manifest their usefulness safely.
What can you
- Try and put him in a school with a good computer education curriculum.
If your school does not have this facility yet, try and mobilize support
for its introduction.
- Spend time on the computer together surfing family sites or using
family oriented programmes. Check out the Reviews
for the web sites that both you and your child will enjoy.
- Make sure that the computer is placed in good lighting conditions
and that the child is taught to take an eye break every 20 minutes.
- Follow the rules for good online
- If your child is into programming, make sure you discuss and stay
abreast of what he is learning. Once a gap between the two of you appears
in this respect, it can not easily be closed and you will not know what
your child is doing.
The top players
in children's computer education.
IT LEDNIA Family Club : Learning through Exploration, Discovery
and Adventure(LEDA) is envisaged as the neighbourhood training
center. Most of the 350 centres are based in housing colonies.
It aims at not only making the child but the entire family IT
2. IT KIDS : started by two Chennai -based
it has over 50 franchisees, mostly in the south and the west.
IT Kids has three parts to its curriculum - computer technology,
academics and value education.
3. Future Kids : Another Chennai based institute, it
has a specialist training center and courses designed for kids.
4. Fourth R : This is a group headquartered in the USA
with over 300 centres in 37 countries. It has 30 franchisees
in India with the head office in Chennai.
5. ZED point : These are community-learning centers aimed
at education and information needs of children, students, executives
and housewives. These centers support various programmes telecast
by ZED channel.
6. Planet IQ. : This has 3 centres in Calcutta and one
center in Delhi. The objective is to use computers as a learning
tool to complement school education.
7. Mayecha Infotech Pvt. Ltd. : Another Calcutta based
center with over a decade's experience in imparting computer
education. The institute has a personalized learn with fun methodology
that is aimed at building up a child's confidence.