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Friday, October 18, 2013

Top 4 Reasons Not To Restrict Your Kids From Using Technology


We live in an age where technology is developing at a more rapid pace than ever. In ten years, there may be things that are taken for granted that we never dreamed about.

1) It can save their lives.

The number one thing to know about modern technology is that it saves lives. A child with a cell phone, for instance, can alert his parents or the police when he finds himself in danger. The cell is, therefore, one of the first things that children should be taught how to use. If you install the appropriate controls on it, then they will not be able to abuse the phone, or even discover areas that they were not meant to see.

2) Technology can have many educational and entertainment benefits.


The use of computers in the household to do homework assignments dates back earlier than the Web, with the personal computer being developed in 1975. (An article appeared in the 1984 WORLD BOOK year book, titled “A Closer Look at Home Computers,” that deals with the subject in great depth.) Since then, their educational value has multiplied at least a thousandfold, with many students using the Web to learn more about the subjects covered in school and the countless educational apps designed for tablets and smartphones. These apps can teach everything, from reading and writing to math to geography and everything in between. They have sharp details and rich coloring to capture and hold the attention of the students.


Entertainment is another valuable aspect of technology. Thanks to such outlets as YouTube, GrooveShark and MySpace, people can now listen to songs and watch movies without having to go out and purchase them. Children can also listen to music while they do their homework on the same machine, provided it does not become too much of a distraction. Games are a large part of the computer world; they come in the form of mobile apps or CD ROMs for the PC, and many can be played online with either real or virtual opponents. (Computer games are also very old: They existed as early as 1947.)

These two aspects of technology can often overlap. At least since the 1980s, many computer games were designed to involve interactive experiences that taught even as they entertained. One example of such a game is The Oregon Trail, which dates all the way back to 1971 and is still being produced, along with a number of spin-offs. In this game, the student is a pioneer of the 1800s encountering computer-simulated challenges and dangers while trying to guide his family to California. He starts out with $900 to buy provisions for the covered wagon and meet trip expenses. Most likely the player will starve on the first attempt to get to the Pacific and have to start all over again.

3) The sooner, the better.

Technological devices are so much a part of our lives that all of us are going to encounter it sooner or later (unless, of course, we are living in caves). We should therefore teach our children how to use all these gadgets as soon as they gain the maturity to be able to do so with discretion. Younger people often adapt to new devices better than older ones, who are often reluctant to try them out for sentimental or other reasons; indeed, many develop a seemingly insatiable fascination with machines (as I myself did when I was in my preteen years!).

4) It does not have to be “addictive.”

One of the major objections that many parents have to their children using gadgets, even if not for inherently bad purposes, is that they may become addicted and play with them for hours on end, to the exclusion of social and other activities. Parents can easily deal with this problem in three basic ways:
  • Setting a limit on the amount of time per day that their children can spend with computers;
  • Providing plenty of other activities in which they can take part; and by limiting their own computer time

Carol Thomas is a lifestyle and technology writer, and writes about helpful topics such as how to choose among the best kid tablets for your child.

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