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A question for the group?<br><br>
If you are a practicing Waldorf parent, how are you on these message boards? Do you just tell your kids that computers are okay for adults?<br><br>
My friends joke about how we could never be Waldorf because my husband and I use computers so much and love our iPods.<br><br>
Just curious.<br><br>
I'm thankful too for technology and forums like this to REALLY compare experiences. How else could I learn the whole story on Waldorf and people's experiences?<br><br>
XOXO<br>
Beth<br><br>
BTW, not that it matters but my husband and I hardly EVER watch TV. we are avid readers and enjoy movies but no TV. so its not like I want a child glued to the tube either....I despise that actually.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BethSLP</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">A question for the group?<br><br>
If you are a practicing Waldorf parent, how are you on these message boards? Do you just tell your kids that computers are okay for adults?</div>
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My approach for my sons was that they could have a computer when they could build it themselves. I supplied my eldest with all the parts but he had to put it together. He was able to do this at age 12 and has been using computers ever since. My other son was 13 when he put his own computer together. I didn't put this requirement on my daughter (not as sexist as it sounds) because her uncle gave her a working laptop (a little too early - she spilled chocolate milk in it and it's never worked since). She has her own computer now (age 12).<br><br>
Pete
 

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I like Pete's approach, but I probably wouldn't follow through on that particular requirement. I believe that there is an age at which children are introduced to technology. They start with machines & the industrial age in 8th grade. So I think adults may indeed use computers, in moderation of course.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>leafylady</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I like Pete's approach, but I probably wouldn't follow through on that particular requirement. I believe that there is an age at which children are introduced to technology. They start with machines & the industrial age in 8th grade. So I think adults may indeed use computers, in moderation of course.</div>
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Actually they begin this in the 7th grade (13 years old) with mechanics (basic physics), and simple machines - some schools even create Rube Goldberg projects - so I think assembling a computer isn't all that inappropriate, in fact it is timely.<br><br>
Pete
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BethSLP</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">A question for the group?<br><br>
If you are a practicing Waldorf parent, how are you on these message boards? Do you just tell your kids that computers are okay for adults?<br><br>
My friends joke about how we could never be Waldorf because my husband and I use computers so much and love our iPods.<br><br>
Just curious.<br><br>
I'm thankful too for technology and forums like this to REALLY compare experiences. How else could I learn the whole story on Waldorf and people's experiences?<br><br>
XOXO<br>
Beth<br><br>
BTW, not that it matters but my husband and I hardly EVER watch TV. we are avid readers and enjoy movies but no TV. so its not like I want a child glued to the tube either....I despise that actually.</div>
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<br><br>
I also drive a car and, occasionally, have a beer with dinner. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br>
wt
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>waldorf teacher</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I also drive a car and, occasionally, have a beer with dinner. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br>
wt</div>
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I see what you are saying, but those things are illegal for children to do. Are you saying that the age for technology is 16 or 21? It does seem that there would be an age for this, even in Waldorf theory.
 

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I also like Pete's approach to the computer. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
Though I am only part of a Waldorf Parent/Child class for my twin toddlers, I seem to recall that our school introduces the computer around the 6th grade...but they have to put it together first.<br><br>
Regarding other technologies...<br><br>
We have TV, no cable, no analog, just Netflix (if we are lucky and it's only for the adults).<br><br>
We have a dishwasher, but we do not use it.<br><br>
We have a mobile phone with an mp3 player, but we never have time to download podcasts.<br><br>
We have a coffee pot, but do not drink enough coffee to warrant its use.<br><br>
We have a dryer, but use the clothesline every change we get.<br><br>
So, admittedly before we started to learn about Waldorf, we were techno wonks and our twins surrounded by technology-oriented toys. They are being phased out as we speak and they seem perfectly content. The house is certainly more quiet!
 

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The nickel tour is as follows:<br>
As with the human embryo, which recapitulates the phases of evolution until it becomes a modern human (and can be born), so is the development of the child after it is born, and we recapitulate the phases of human development.<br>
The lower-school history curriculum in Waldorf follows this chronological progression up through the 2nd 7-year period, when children become modern humans and go to High School.<br>
This is also why Waldorf kids don't know diddly about American history until 8th grade <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>medeanj</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I also like Pete's approach to the computer. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></div>
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Thanks!<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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Though I am only part of a Waldorf Parent/Child class for my twin toddlers, I seem to recall that our school introduces the computer around the 6th grade...but they have to put it together first.</td>
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Wow, this is great. I thought my idea was an original (and I'm not being sarcastic - lest anyone is getting ready to report me to the moderators <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> )<br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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Regarding other technologies...<br><br>
We have TV, no cable, no analog, just Netflix (if we are lucky and it's only for the adults).<br><br>
We have a dishwasher, but we do not use it.<br><br>
We have a mobile phone with an mp3 player, but we never have time to download podcasts.<br><br>
We have a coffee pot, but do not drink enough coffee to warrant its use.<br><br>
We have a dryer, but use the clothesline every change we get.<br><br>
So, admittedly before we started to learn about Waldorf, we were techno wonks and our twins surrounded by technology-oriented toys. They are being phased out as we speak and they seem perfectly content. The house is certainly more quiet!</td>
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I've got mixed feelings about what you said above. If doing everything by hand means you have less time to spend with your kids (I'm saying "you" but I mean "anyone") then is it really so great. Does all that extra work mean less time to rest - and is that good? Or does it make people too tired to do the extra evening walk to the park with the kids.<br><br>
Technology is what releases people to have more leisure time - more time with the kids and family. I've tried going without a dishwasher - I went 2-1/2 years. Then one day after Thanksgiving dinner with my kids and 2 hours of doing dishes, I was crabby and sore and really didn't want to interact with them. I figured it was time to stop being silly and start taking time back from the daily chores. Sure, the dishwasher makes a little noise - but it saves me time and heck - I run it at night after the kids are in bed. I don't need to make those kind of trade-offs. I live in a modern world. I'll take time with my kids over washing dishes any day. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/luxlove.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="throb"><br><br>
Pete
 

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<a href="http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05285/586782.stm" target="_blank">http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05285/586782.stm</a><br><br>
Being a computer whiz could be too much of a good thing<br><br>
Wednesday, October 12, 2005<br><br>
By Gary Rotstein, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette<br><br>
Computer time questioned<br><br>
Fans of the computer see it as a major asset in the education of America's young minds, helping them avoid those pesky little trips of the past into library reference stacks. Not so fast, writes Lowell Monke in the September-October Orion Magazine. As one who has instructed young people in digital technology for two decades, he finds their devotion to computers leaving them disconnected. The students spend too much time now learning about the world, he laments, instead of from it. They look at a computer image of a worm instead of touching one. They even suffer from cutbacks in schoolyard recess, taking place concurrently with increased school time spent on new technology. "Children learn the fragility of flowers by touching their petals," Mr. Monke writes. "They learn to cooperate by organizing their own games. The computer cannot simulate the physical and emotional nuances of resolving a dispute during kickball, or the creativity of inventing new rhymes to the rhythm of jumping rope."<br><br>
Don't overdo it<br><br>
Among his evidence, Mr. Monke cited a University of Munich study released last year, in which researchers surveyed 175,000 15-year-olds in 31 countries. It found that students who have more than one computer at home and those who used computers at least several times per week at school performed worse than their peers on tests in math and reading. Students benefited from limited use of computers at school, but too much of it seemed to hurt them academically. "The mere availability of computers at home seems to distract students from learning," the study said. A Christian Science Monitor article noted the research made sense to educators at the Waldorf schools, a group of institutions which refrain from putting students on computers until the 11th grade.<br><br>
[.........]
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Serena Blaue</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The students spend too much time now learning about the world, he laments, instead of from it. They look at a computer image of a worm instead of touching one.</div>
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Again, this speaks to BALANCE.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Serena Blaue</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">They even suffer from cutbacks in schoolyard recess, taking place concurrently with increased school time spent on new technology. "Children learn the fragility of flowers by touching their petals," Mr. Monke writes. "They learn to cooperate by organizing their own games. The computer cannot simulate the physical and emotional nuances of resolving a dispute during kickball, or the creativity of inventing new rhymes to the rhythm of jumping rope."</div>
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This is such an exxageration. My school NEVER cuts recess for computers. Silly. Interesting too about the mention of kickball, since that is not going on until 4th grade at waldorf.<br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Serena Blaue</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Among his evidence, Mr. Monke cited a University of Munich study released last year, in which researchers surveyed 175,000 15-year-olds in 31 countries. It found that students who have more than one computer at home and those who used computers at least several times per week at school performed worse than their peers on tests in math and reading. Students benefited from limited use of computers at school, but too much of it seemed to hurt them academically. "The mere availability of computers at home seems to distract students from learning," the study said. A Christian Science Monitor article noted the research made sense to educators at the Waldorf schools, a group of institutions which refrain from putting students on computers until the 11th grade.</div>
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I tried to google this actual study, but could not find it. Do you happen to know where it is? I would like to see how they picked their cohorts and how they matched sample groups, etc. I am skeptical only because I think compared to my kids in public school, private schools will have higher scores due to higher socio economic status and parent involvement.<br><br>
As someone who wrote a thesis on computer use and learning disabilities (that warned against thinking of computers as a cure all for those with learning issues), I am absolutely cognizant that computers don't make learning wonderful on their own or replace learning.<br><br>
However, I am ALWAYS wary of any study like this because they isolate one factor as the cause for test scores. Its difficult to do this. I recently read a study that said teenage girls have sex for the first time within two years of getting a cell phone. Ummm, could it be that girls get a cell phone around the age of 14 and have sex around the age of 16 and there's no correlation whatsoever? That's my concern.<br><br>
Again, I've said before that there must be balance. My niece and nephew in California spend minimal time on the computer but are savvy with technology. They also work in a Life Lab and learn how to pot plants, grow vegetables, make cuttings, etc. They write and star in plays during the summers. They take guitar lessons and are making a band. They are allowed to choose their own spelling words that are meaningful to them. This to me is a balanced education.<br><br>
I learned to type later in my life and I feel it was actually a disadvantage for me. I also remember the days of wanting information about a hairless cat and there being NO books on the subject. The internet has blown the doors of discovery wide open. The children at my school use the internet sparingly and with filters, to find alternate sources for information about a given topic. They use Powerpoint to make dynamic presentations using poems and stories.<br><br>
No one EVER advocated letting a kid play World of Warcraft for hours on end every night. Yes, that does in fact cut kids off from the real world.<br><br>
I am 27 years old, and I am CONSTANTLY fixing/adjusting/protecting computers for my older colleagues that have NO idea how to do any of it. My good friend who's in her 50s spends hours doing the same thing I can do in minutes. This saves me valuable time to spend with my kiddos at school and with my family.<br><br>
Programs like Google Earth give kids such an amazing experience IMO. I don't see throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I just don't.<br><br>
XOXO<br>
Beth
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Pete</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've got mixed feelings about what you said above. If doing everything by hand means you have less time to spend with your kids (I'm saying "you" but I mean "anyone") then is it really so great. Does all that extra work mean less time to rest - and is that good? Or does it make people too tired to do the extra evening walk to the park with the kids.<br><br>
Technology is what releases people to have more leisure time - more time with the kids and family. I've tried going without a dishwasher - I went 2-1/2 years. Then one day after Thanksgiving dinner with my kids and 2 hours of doing dishes, I was crabby and sore and really didn't want to interact with them. I figured it was time to stop being silly and start taking time back from the daily chores. Sure, the dishwasher makes a little noise - but it saves me time and heck - I run it at night after the kids are in bed. I don't need to make those kind of trade-offs. I live in a modern world. I'll take time with my kids over washing dishes any day.</div>
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Allow me to clarify...<br><br>
I work full-time (though this will change at the begining of '06). By the time I get home I need to spend quality time with my twins before they go to bed. By the time they are in bed, I am too tired to use the computer or download my podcasts to my mobile phone. Then again, I am not harmed in anyway and for the most part I get a good night's sleep <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Personally I would love to use the dishwasher. But my DH is what we call in our household 'the cheap Welshman.' He does not wish to use electricity, pay for dishwashing powder, or waste water.<br><br>
Hope this helps <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>medeanj</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Allow me to clarify...<br><br>
I work full-time (though this will change at the begining of '06). By the time I get home I need to spend quality time with my twins before they go to bed. By the time they are in bed, I am too tired to use the computer or download my podcasts to my mobile phone. Then again, I am not harmed in anyway and for the most part I get a good night's sleep <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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Yes, of course <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/hug2.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Hug2"> . I don't know what podcasts are and I only use my cell phone for telephone calls, so I must be behind the times. :LOL<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Personally I would love to use the dishwasher. But my DH is what we call in our household 'the cheap Welshman.' He does not wish to use electricity, pay for dishwashing powder, or waste water.<br><br>
Hope this helps <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"></td>
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Oh my... yes, I'm sure it helps... HIM... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:<br><br>
You seem to be a very good sport about it.<br><br>
Pete
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BethSLP</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">A question for the group?<br><br>
If you are a practicing Waldorf parent, how are you on these message boards? Do you just tell your kids that computers are okay for adults?<br><br>
My friends joke about how we could never be Waldorf because my husband and I use computers so much and love our iPods.<br></div>
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Coming to this thread late, my children (now in grades six, nine, and eleven) didn't use the computer to any real extent until around seventh grade (yes, the youngest is very unhappy about that right now). Now neither of the two in (non-Waldorf) high school is at any noticeable disadvantage from having had less computer experience at younger ages.<br><br>
At this point, our waldorf school is getting pretty technological (at least for the adults); we have laptops for most staff and several teachers, a wireless network and satellite internet. The class teacher who carried last year's eighth grade from first grade is a former professional graphic artist who can do fantastic desktop publishing, and she talks about her early days as a waldorf schoo lparent when the weekly newsletter had to be hand-illustrated only. Times change.<br><br>
David
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>BethSLP</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Again, this speaks to BALANCE.<br><br>
I am 27 years old, and I am CONSTANTLY fixing/adjusting/protecting computers for my older colleagues that have NO idea how to do any of it. My good friend who's in her 50s spends hours doing the same thing I can do in minutes. This saves me valuable time to spend with my kiddos at school and with my family. XOXO<br>
Beth</div>
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I'm 55 years old and I am CONSTANTLY fixing/adjusting/protecting the public access computer at my library for patrons. Some of them are elderly, but younger folks need help fairly often too, including some who are young enough to have had computers in school starting at an early age.<br><br>
I started using computers in my 40s. I had exposure to computer theory as a child because my father was a computer programmer. I don't think it was particularly good for me and I doubt it made me a better computer user 30 years later.<br><br>
After many years of being a default computer maven, I have a theory as to why some people are good at computers and some are not. People who are good with computers can think like a computer (or a cell phone, or a microwave, or a copy machine). This comes naturally to some people, it is a learned skill for other people (for me it is mostly a learned skill). People who are bad with computers don't think like computers. Some, but not all of them are creative folks (I've known a number of artists who were total disasters around gadgets) and some are really good with their hands, but not good at abstract thinking. Would these folks all have turned out to be computer whizzes if they had started using computers at 6? Would some of them still be creative artists if they had started using computers at 6? I dunno...<br><br>
There are some human capacities that have to be developed within certain time frames or they won't develop at all. Language skills are the best example. Computer skills don't fall into that category. There isn't a window of opportunity that shuts. "Learn to use a mouse by 3 or you'll never get it." "Learn how to operate a spreadsheet by 10 or forget about an MBA." "Learn Power-Point by 14 or you won't get to be a big executive and fire thousands of people."<br><br>
I regularly demonstrate computer skills to people in their 70s and they regularly understand what I'm demonstrating and sometimes even decide to use the technique on their own. All part of the fun of being a public librarian.<br><br>
Nana
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Deborah</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">After many years of being a default computer maven, I have a theory as to why some people are good at computers and some are not. People who are good with computers can think like a computer (or a cell phone, or a microwave, or a copy machine). This comes naturally to some people, it is a learned skill for other people (for me it is mostly a learned skill). People who are bad with computers don't think like computers. Some, but not all of them are creative folks (I've known a number of artists who were total disasters around gadgets) and some are really good with their hands, but not good at abstract thinking. Would these folks all have turned out to be computer whizzes if they had started using computers at 6? Would some of them still be creative artists if they had started using computers at 6? I dunno...</div>
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Nobody can argue, at least I think nobody can argue, that a child who learns to play the piano at age 6 has a much better chance of developing that skill to a higher level than someone who learns at age 40. And really, when you think about it, the piano is a pretty good analogy. It's a machine - very mechanical (that's one reason Steiner didn't recommend piano for young children). One can learn the technical skill to play the piano AND be creative at the same time. One doesn't sacrifice creativity for technical ability.<br><br>
I suppose everyone is entitled to their opinion, but let me ask you if you think DaVinci was less creative because he produced technical illustrations of his creations? Was his creativity hampered or enhanced by the exploration of the technical aspects and minute details of his ideas? To suggest that because people today have better tools to represent their ideas that they are somehow less creative is, IMO, very misguided.<br><br>
As a designer, I know I cannot rely on the computer to be creative for me - it's a tool. The creativity comes from me. The computer faithfully and accurately represents what I tell it to. To suggest that children who use computers may become extensions of the machines they use (and that's exactly what I believe you are suggesting) is a terrible mistake. Computers free us from the drudgery of documentation and allow us to be more creative.<br><br>
If I were writing this using a pencil and paper, and wanted to insert something in the middle, what would I do? I would have to erase a portion of what I had written and write in what I needed to write and then <i>mechanically</i> reproduce what came after. That drudgery, the <i>mechanica</i>l reproduction of the document is not creative at all, it is, in fact, far more <i>mechanical</i> than the computer options of inserting or cutting and pasting. When that task takes only a few seconds, I am free to continue creating.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">There are some human capacities that have to be developed within certain time frames or they won't develop at all. Language skills are the best example. Computer skills don't fall into that category. There isn't a window of opportunity that shuts. "Learn to use a mouse by 3 or you'll never get it." "Learn how to operate a spreadsheet by 10 or forget about an MBA." "Learn Power-Point by 14 or you won't get to be a big executive and fire thousands of people."</td>
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I'm not sure that is true. Sure, many of us learned computers when we were older - I was 33ish. But kids understand the technology much faster than I do, even though I've got a two decade head start on them. It's not that someone who doesn't learn by 10 will never operate a spreadsheet - there may very well be something better than spreadsheets by the time they enter the workplace. The point is that they are developing the skills they need for the future AND the confidence to know that they will be part of the future.<br><br>
Pete
 

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Does anyone have any actual research available on the age of children learning computer and later success or advancement in technical skills. I'm sure this must have been done to justify schools getting grants for computers/programs, etc. Otherwise it is conjecture and opinion, which is fine as long as folks are tolerant of diverse opinions.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lauren</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Does anyone have any actual research available on the age of children learning computer and later success or advancement in technical skills. I'm sure this must have been done to justify schools getting grants for computers/programs, etc. Otherwise it is conjecture and opinion, which is fine as long as folks are tolerant of diverse opinions.</div>
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I think you need to look towards HOW you believe it is we learn. I've read a lot of brain based stuff on here. Critical periods, etc.<br><br>
I am more of a socioculturalist/Vygotskian and believe that its a process of synthesis and integration. When you look at a young child, you can watch the process of learning go from other regulation, to joint regulation, to self regulation. For example, a baby goes for an electrical outlet, and the mother physically pulls the baby away and says "no." (other regulation). Eventually the child goes to the electrical outlet, looks at the parent, and they both say "no no." (joint regulation). Then lastly the child goes toward the electrical outlet and stops themselves (self regulation). Its a process of moving inward as the information synthesizes and integrates with the child's knowledge of the world. Dialogue and conversation also takes the same form. Its other regulated, then self talk, then mental talk. Young kids often "talk themselves through" what they are doing to mediate their learning.<br><br>
Anyhow, the way I view learning is that experiences integrated into our mentation shape future learning. Learning computers in 11th grade seems like a big disadvantage if you plan to go to college in less than 2 years. By college, I could type almost as fast as I talk because it was integrated to a high degree. It saved me HOURS in college that I was able to pursue other interesting things, cultural experiences, experiences with friends, etc.<br><br>
I cannot imagine how limited and controlled computer usage could be a negative for children. It just seems silly to me. Again, this is not children playing World of Warcraft for hours on end. And I have read those posts where someone's stepson or daughter is on the internet ALL night and quitting extracurricular activities, etc. to be a part of this fantasy online world where you have a character in a different world etc. etc. The parent was concerned about the child but was not able to intervene easily as they are not the primary parents, or the majority of computer use happened at the other parents house, etc. This stuff is a problem.<br><br>
My thesis was looking at computers and learning disabilities. There is a current trend of modifications and/or providing help to children who are LD by providing them powerbooks etc. My research shows that the sequencing and organization inherently needed to operate a computer is not easy for some kids with organization integration based learning disabilities. They may not be inherently assistive.<br><br>
There is also research to support that computers in and of themselves do not necessarily improve learning. Static display vs. dynamic displays of information, etc. HOWEVER, the tool itself I still believe is useful.<br><br>
And you cannot deny the fact that they are MOTIVATING to a lot of kids. I know kids who love to practice math facts on a computer. We use the computer sometimes in my speech therapy lessons. The program is just a java based internet thing that is ALL TEXT (it literally looks like a worksheet online), yet because its on a computer, the kids are excited for it.<br><br>
Why not harness that excitement to add to learning? I know kids who are burned out on worksheets but will work an extra hour on a problem area if there's as cute computer program to do it on.<br><br>
I want my children to learn to type (which to me is a big freedom), and to know how to find information they need via the web (another freedom). I have been able to save myself and my family numerous times by being proficient with searches online. We were able to flee Rita by taking the ONE route out of town that wasn't a traffic jam because we used an internet traffic map. I discovered that a western medical doctor had recommended a treatment for my mitral valve prolapse that was outdated and harmful (antibiotics every time I went to the dentist) and given me a drug to decrease side effects. After some interest research, I stopped the antibiotics and successfully treated the condition with MAGNESIUM. This is not something I could have found in a book. The internet is simply the gateway to some of the brightest minds in the world.<br><br>
My DH and I are bookworms and read everything we can get our hands on. We also read for pleasure online the latest happenings around the globe. What is wrong with being connected to the world?<br><br>
Just my two cents.<br>
XOXO<br>
Beth
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lauren</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Does anyone have any actual research available on the age of children learning computer and later success or advancement in technical skills. I'm sure this must have been done to justify schools getting grants for computers/programs, etc. Otherwise it is conjecture and opinion, which is fine as long as folks are tolerant of diverse opinions.</div>
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I've read a couple of books on this--<span style="text-decoration:underline;">Failure to Connect</span>, and <span style="text-decoration:underline;">The Flickering Mind.</span> In both, the authors argue that computers were rushed into schools without any real substantive research to back it up.<br><br>
Parts of <span style="text-decoration:underline;">The Flickering Mind</span> were a feature article in The Atlantic Monthly magazine several years ago called "The Computer Delusion". You can still read it online : <a href="http://www.tnellen.com/ted/tc/computer.htm" target="_blank">The Computer Delusion</a><br><br>
Below is a published study which examined the relationship in <i>fifteen year olds</i> (as opposed to elementary) between academic achievement and computers in homes and schools, and found computers in the home correlated to declines in academic achievement. Computers in the schools correlated to some measurable academic improvement, but only in schools where there was very limited use of them (about 2 times a month or less, I think). The students who didn't have them at all underperformed those that had them just a little bit in school. But those in schools who used them twice a week did worse than those that didn't have them at all. (Again, this is only use in the <i>schools</i> as opposed to using them at <i>home</i> where the impact was even worse.) This study was more careful to control for 'confounders' like family income which are factors known to correlate all by themselves to higher academic outcomes.<br><br><a href="http://www.ifo.de/pls/guestci/download/CESifo%20Working%20Papers%202004/CESifo%20Working%20Papers%20October%202004/cesifo1_wp1321.pdf" target="_blank">Computers and Student Learning: Bivariate and Multivariate Evidence on the Availability and Use of Computers at Home and at School</a><br><br>
This study pertained to 15 year olds, but the authors do refer to other named studies involving younger children. The conclusion from these studies and other related research the authors also described led them to conclude,<br><blockquote><p>"Thus, the evidence so far does not suggest that computers has a substantial impact on the economic or educational outcome of individuals, neither in terms of worker wages nor in terms of student learning. Despite numerous claims by politicians and software vendors to the contrary, the evidence so far suggests that computer use in schools does not seem to contribute substantially to students' learning of basic skills such as math or reading.</p></blockquote>
What the study also argued was that academics like reading, writing and mathematics correlate to success in the workplace, not computer skills. One of the problems with over-emphasizing the computer skills is that there's a price to pay some place else. If the child is on the computer, what is the child giving up? What critically important things is the child doing less of while he or she is on the computer?<br><br>
Linda
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LindaCl</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Below is a published study which examined the relationship in <i>fifteen year olds</i> (as opposed to elementary) between academic achievement and computers in homes and schools, and found computers in the home correlated to declines in academic achievement. Computers in the schools correlated to some measurable academic improvement, but only in schools where there was very limited use of them (about 2 times a month or less, I think). The students who didn't have them at all underperformed those that had them just a little bit in school. But those in schools who used them twice a week did worse than those that didn't have them at all. (Again, this is only use in the <i>schools</i> as opposed to using them at <i>home</i> where the impact was even worse.) This study was more careful to control for 'confounders' like family income which are factors known to correlate all by themselves to higher academic outcomes.<br><br><a href="http://www.ifo.de/pls/guestci/download/CESifo%20Working%20Papers%202004/CESifo%20Working%20Papers%20October%202004/cesifo1_wp1321.pdf" target="_blank">Computers and Student Learning: Bivariate and Multivariate Evidence on the Availability and Use of Computers at Home and at School</a><br><br>
This study pertained to 15 year olds, but the authors do refer to other named studies involving younger children. The conclusion from these studies and other related research the authors also described led them to conclude,<br><blockquote><p>"Thus, the evidence so far does not suggest that computers has a substantial impact on the economic or educational outcome of individuals, neither in terms of worker wages nor in terms of student learning. Despite numerous claims by politicians and software vendors to the contrary, the evidence so far suggests that computer use in schools does not seem to contribute substantially to students' learning of basic skills such as math or reading.</p></blockquote>
What the study also argued was that academics like reading, writing and mathematics correlate to success in the workplace, not computer skills. One of the problems with over-emphasizing the computer skills is that there's a price to pay some place else. If the child is on the computer, what is the child giving up? What critically important things is the child doing less of while he or she is on the computer?</div>
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Thanks Linda. That's a very interesting study and I would suggest every parent read it thoroughly. I is basically a study to refute a study - which is always interesting. It very speculatively makes claims like - sure kids with computers do better, they come from more affluent families. And it specifically focuses on reading and math - as if those are the only topics children learn in school. How about topics like geography, history, political science, astronomy, geology (all the sciences in fact)? I don't think that even if computers don't show a benefit in teaching math and reading, they don't benefit kids in thousands of other ways.<br><br>
The study also makes very general statements about computer use in the workplace - making no differentiation between general computer use (data entry and word processing) and technical computer use (programming, engineering, web-related activities). As an engineer, I can tell you that an engineer without computer skills is an unemployed engineer. That's all there is to it.<br><br>
Anyway, I believe everyone should read the study carefully and see if they believe that it is a fair representation of unbiased data.<br><br>
And I cannot believe people don't see the advantage a student would have with a computer. In 20 minutes, my kid can download as much information as anyone would ever want to know about Finland... or parrots... or Neptune. Am I going to respect a report that suggests this is not good?<br><br>
Pete
 
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