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Three year olds need computers??

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello all you Mothering parents!

I am here on behalf of a friend of mine. She is working in our local daycare and the board that they are part of has decided that all the three year olds in their care MUST have computer time each day. The daycare here is trying to fight this decision, as they feel that time spent playing is much better for these three year olds, but they have lost their first appeal.

At her request, I am now turning to all of you to help us find the research and information that will give them the ooomph they need to overturn this decision. If you have any information, ideas and opinions, please share so that we can put together a strong argument.

Thank you
post #2 of 8
The child and the machine : how computers put our children's education at risk / Alison Armstrong and Charles Casement.
Publisher Beltsville, MD : Robins Lane Press, 2000.

Failure to connect : how computers affect our children's minds--and what we can do about it / Jane M. Healy.
Publisher New York : Simon & Schuster, 1999, c1998.

High tech heretic : why computers don't belong in the classroom and other reflections by a computer contrarian / Clifford Stoll.
Publisher New York : Doubleday, 1999.

Oversold and underused : computers in the classroom / Larry Cuban.
Publisher Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, c2001.

I've read the first one (which was very interesting) but not the others. They should provide lots of ammunition for your friend's appeal. I used a computer at that age, a Commdore 64, but I can't see what the advantage is educationally. Honestly, I'm not sure why 3 y/o kids need school anyhow, but they sure as heck don't need computers.
post #3 of 8
What are they planning on them doing with the computers???

That really sounds strange to me, I never considered anyone would think 3 years old *should* be on computers. Hardly any three years old can even read and many don't have the motor skills to use the mouse, ect...

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thank you Anita and Abimommy! This is a great start. I so appreciate your help!

post #5 of 8

I'm a little different...

My kids have developmental delays, but they learned to use the mouse pretty quickly, and many young child programs require only use of the space bar. I believe computer time should be extremely limited though, like maybe only two or three times a week for a VERY short segment.

Computers can be another tool for teaching, and for children who are visual learners, make a big difference in learning to read. I'd prefer my children feel they have at least some mastery for their own comfort level. My autistic child learned his ABC's on a special program with great music; it was something that augmented his training from school. Like anything other tool, there need to be limitations to prevent it from taking the place of socialization. But that's just my opinion and experience.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

You have raised some very good points. Thankyou for responding. I'm going to print out your response and give it to my friend too!

Thanks for taking the time!

post #7 of 8


i also agree that making each child have mandatory computer time at age three is a bit much. maybe invite a child to play for a few minutes every couple of days.

that said. my daughter plays on the computer often. She loves it. She started at age 18mos with jumpstart baby. then at 2'ish we introduced the reader rabbit baby game. She's learned to move the mouse over the items (you don't have to click). she needed a bit of help, but really did well. Now, turning three on sunday, she plays Reader Rabbit Toddler, Rolie POlie Olie (with help), Winnie the Pooh and is getting a bluesclues computer game for her birthday. I ask her every day or so "do you want to play a computer game?". And she'll usually play for about 20 minutes before getting tired of it or losing interest.
Sometimes she says no and I offer something else - coloring, painting, reading etc. But usually she gets very excited to play on her puter.

I'm glad because in our society being comfortable on the computer is very important for many jobs. Even to be a wahmama like me!

post #8 of 8

A little more...

When one of my young children was receiving assistance through our state's early childhood intervention program, he loved doing The Farm by Fisher Price, and he was only two. The teacher who was working with him was so impressed that we made a copy of the program (no longer sold) because she wanted to use it with another child who had that surgery to restore his hearing. She said the sounds and music and program were excellent for giving this child, hearing for the first time, "ear training". Other training for children with autism is in Nouns and Sounds and other Laureate Training systems.
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