Imagine being a one-year-old, sitting in front of a computer on your parents lap. The computer, in its lovely electronic voice, says D is for dog. Flashy screens and unfamiliar voices are not going to register as anything more then entertainment for a young child. Is it really necessary to be on a computer at that young of an age learning the information that parents should be teaching? Try to think ahead a decade latter to a college algebra course. The only resources are a computer and a poorly designed math program on compact disc.
Confusion arises, you do not understand how to do functions and the computers method is just not working. All that is wanted is a straight answer from a real teacher, and the computer cannot possibly offer that. For both the child and the college student hands on learning taught by a human would be more affective. Parents and teachers need to take full responsibility for teaching in all levels of education. Many teachers and parents in todays technologically advancing society are changing to a more computerized way of teaching that is less effective and can harm the way students learn.
Parents are being told, through the media, that they have a responsibility to begin preparing their children for a future of computers and technology which will advance them onto top schools and high paying jobs.
Parents fear that without an early start their children will fall behind and never catch up technologically. Parents are accomplishing this by putting their children as young as eight months in front of a computer. Many companies have designed computer programs for children two and under to learn numbers and letters before they can even speak a sentence. Keyboards have even been designed for small hands and that are drool proof. The concept companies are trying to sell is; if parents buy the programs their children will be smarter. Can a developing child really become smarter just by being exposed to a computer at a very early age?
In the first few years of development children learn many of the skills that will carry them through the rest of their lives.
Some of the most important skills are language and socialization. Children learn to problem solve, find solutions and to be creative at an early age. They also develop and improve motor skills, hand eye coordination, and depth perception, which cannot be taught by any computer. The best way possible for any child to learn is to experience life, to experiment, and to observe what elders around them are doing. Children need the bond of caring adults to help them learn, yet technology is inadvertently weakening this bond. Sitting a child in front of a screen can actually slow the development of all these skills, especially creativity.
The child learns to rely on the computer for creativity rather than their own mind.
A child looking at a screen with a dancing dog and cat cannot compare to the effect hands on play could have. All a child has to do today is insert in a CD-ROM and a whole world is hers to play with. A young girl can play princess but never actually move from her chair. With a click of the mouse she can change a computerized girls costume, hair, and make-up. She never got the excitement of prancing around the house, looking goofy in moms make-up, or making the most beautiful dress out of a simple bed sheet.
She missed out on the best part of being a child, being able to be mentally and physically creative. The computer did all the work, lessening her imagination skills.
Once children get older more of what they learn is in the teachers hands and not so much their parents. Teachers tend to take over in the scholastic part of learning. At the elementary level, children use programs to enhance math and English skills. Games with flashy colors and gimmicks are used to encourage children to get the right answers.
Many teaching programs always have their pros and cons. Some programs do a great job at drilling and repetition, which improve memorization skills. Yet, children are held back because .