Computers and Our Own Kids

I really enjoyed a “get together” with some local ed-tech specialists a few nights ago. We could banter about Moodle vs. Edline, First Class vs. Entourage, custom scripting vs. off-the-shelf solutions. It was fun.

The longest conversations, however, were about kids. Kids we work with at school, but mostly our own kids. We discussed the philosophy of a local Waldorf school, which serves the kids of some Intel and Silicon Corridor parents in the area. Then we talked about how we’re “teaching about technology” in our own homes. It was cool, because everyone at the table had kids at home to talk about.

Pit DroidsI’m always looking for patterns, and for the most part we all seemed in the moderate to slow category for our own kids and computers at home. I might be the slowest of the bunch, but I’m promised to start working with my fourth grade son on keyboarding. He’s already doing well with research and reading on the web. He’s only slightly interested in games, preferring hands-on Lego projects. I have, however, put bids in on Pit Droids, Droidworks and Gungan Frontier software on Ebay for him.

My second grade daughter wants a good drawing program, and I’m looking for somthing finer than KidPix but not Illustrator tough. I’ve seen some Disney-type programs but their interfaces were pretty scary. I’m open to suggestions!

The interesting thing is that we all seemed pretty relaxed about technology use at home by the kids– in that we don’t have advanced early goals or projects we want achieved. Some of our kids sounded much more “natural” or “interested,” while others (like mine) are more interested in hands-on challenges.

It was great to hear that we were all relaxed with the range of differences, and overall there was a consensus that letting kids set the pace when younger (grade six and less) wasn’t a bad idea.

Photo Source: Lucas Learning (http://www.lucaslearning.com/products/pitdroids.htm)

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