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Why does my dd, 3, have to "play" on a computer at her nursery? I hate this.

(36 Posts)
Hinagiku Thu 01-Oct-09 15:28:02

My daughter has just started nursery school. There is a pc on a low bench for them.
It is my feeling that they are just far too young: it is so passive, their little faces go so blank and empty. We live in an inner city area where they apparently are running a programme called Every Child A Talker. There is no way that a computer playing fancy games can teach a child to interact socially. I feel it is so stupid and short-sighted. The staff talk of "times changing" and "getting ready for school". What about what is good for them right now? They have their entire lives to stare into brightly lit rectangles, as I am doing now. Not when you are just 3 and sensitive and can pick up so many other useful skills and nourish your soul and personality. I feel it shuts them down at this crucial stage and can't make them better at "ICT" in the long run anyway. I want to write a letter and would appreciate any thoughts.

fishie Thu 01-Oct-09 15:29:07

i think it is in the early years curriculum.

Hinagiku Thu 01-Oct-09 15:40:18

It certainly is. If anyone can give me what they think might be the reasons behind this I would like to know. Why is nursery about preparation for school, why can't it be an end in itself, where small children share fun and joy and learn to be with each other and interact with kind adults who care about them?

colditz Thu 01-Oct-09 15:42:15

Children's faces do tend to go blank and empty when they are thinking deeply. I think you're being paranoid.

JackBauer Thu 01-Oct-09 15:55:23

It's not just preparation for school, it's preparation for life, and computers will be a huge part of our children's lives.

GiraffesAndDucksSayQuack Thu 01-Oct-09 15:58:33

As long as they aren't on it for long its fine, they are learning how to use them. I am sure they learn plenty other things too.

seeker Thu 01-Oct-09 16:02:15

I would want to know how long they are allowed to use the computer for before I complained.

nicnacinoonoo Thu 01-Oct-09 16:02:20

i think its great that nursery or pre school as we call it, gets them ready for school. i was very proud to see on my ds's pre school evaluation that he had been taught how to navigate a mouse as i know they have to use computers in primary school now. Also learning how to navigate the mouse is not just teaching how to use a computer it is teaching them different ways of hand to eye co-ordination and motor skills

englishpatient Thu 01-Oct-09 16:27:44

I think you need to find out how long she will be using the computer for.

I do tend to agree with you though - I think there are many other more valuable things to be doing as a child!

Yes, she will need to know how to use computers, but for both my DCs this didn't take much - they picked up how to use a mouse and find their way around VERY quickly.

If you don't want her to use it, or want her usage limited, I would write and say so.

In my opinion poor schools (and probably nurseries) over-use computers, to the children's detriment.

Oblomov Thu 01-Oct-09 16:36:32

Does your dd not like the computer then ?
shame. She better get used to it quickly. start learn to like it. becasue they start using computers in reception.
its not supposed to be about interacting. they do that through so many other ways.
it is about getting her ready for school. and I do think you are in the dark ages if you don't realise that computers are PART of learning for children nowadays.

PixelHerder Thu 01-Oct-09 16:37:11

I agree 3 seems very early to start them on a computer, they will pick it up in a blink of an eye at school age anyway.

However if it's in the curriculum I guess they don't have much choice, they might respect your wishes though if you say you'd rather she didn't use it very often.

I've spent a lot of time teaching DD (3) to keep her mitts OFF mine so I can MN in peace to keep sodding CBeebies from infecting EVERY screen in the house...

Oblomov Thu 01-Oct-09 16:39:34

i am sure they will be on it for all of a few minutes. by christmas in reception, ie having only been at school for 3 months, ds could save a picture, give it a name, and then locate it in his own personal folder.
I know lots of adults who can't do this. but this is how quickly they are progressing with computers these days.
computers are of great importance.
i think you need to wake up a bit.
in a minute 5 yr olds will be using google wave and then where will we all be !!

Hinagiku Thu 01-Oct-09 16:41:38

Yes that is what I feel. It would take a child in Year 1 or reception very little time to get used to using a computer - most will have experienced them at home too. At nursery I do feel it is a cheap option, offered as a substitute to engaging in active interaction and talking. I am going to insist that it is limited to minimal usage, but am loathe to be the person whose little darling has to have special treatment.

haggisaggis Thu 01-Oct-09 16:46:34

Well, at our primary curriculum meeting teh HT stated that most children are able to use a mouse by the time they start school and teh school then builds on taht knowledge. SOme kids will pick it up quickly but others (like my dd) will take longer so perhaps they need to start in nursery.
I woudl b e very surprised if it is longer than about 10 mins at a time though.

PandaG Thu 01-Oct-09 16:54:48

I work in a pre-school. We have a computer, as use of IT is as already stated part of the EYFS. Children's use is limited, it is not switched on all the time, and children can only use it for 10 mins max at one sitting.

10 minutes out of 3 hours is not a cheap option, with staff failing to interact with children. Often staff and children work together to navigate a suitable program, and we certainly talk to the children all the time, no matter what we are doing, from taking them to the loo, to playing pirates, to baking bread.

Some children want to be on the computer a lot, and we restrict their usage, wanting to ensure they have access to the whole broad curriculum.

ThingOne Thu 01-Oct-09 18:27:25

I think you'll find they are on it for a maximum of ten minutes at a time. It's hardly going to spoil her childhood, is it?

I've introduced mine to computers very early on. Mouse control is going to be essential to them, and learning early is good. There are some great computer games for pre-school children about, that they can do entirely by themselves and have a whale of a time doing.

Bumblingbovine Thu 01-Oct-09 18:43:34

Well at our nursery school the ofsted inspection highlighted ICT as being facilities that needed updating and improving. It is a part of EYFS and I was surprised at the fact that this was in fact considered important for such young children.

Admitedly ICT covers all electronic equiment but PCs are a big part of that.

I personally think it isn't necessary (or even ideal) but it is not that nurserys are using PCs to "keep children quiet" It is because they are required to make adequate provision for learning of ICT skills and if they don't do that, their ofsted ratings can suffer which means that numbers can fall etc.

Hulababy Thu 01-Oct-09 18:45:41

My DD used a computer from being very little, way before 3y. We used age appropriate software and websites, and had a special infant keyboard. She was in no way passive using it, and I know that she was engaged with both me and the computer programme.

When used for short periods of time, and with the right software, ICT can be good for children. In the same way that the use of other technology and non-technological tools/resources can be.

Obviously sitting at them for hours on end is not good. But then I wouldn't want my child to do that with any activity.

BTW - there is one activiy that does have many children sat with blank faces, not interacting with others: reading books. Certainly when my little girl looked at books she would get lost in her own little world. Maybe we should complain about them doing that too?

nurseryvoice Thu 01-Oct-09 20:19:25

The EYFS and Ofsted insist on the use of ict including computers.

If a nursery did not provide a computer they would get a poor ofsted report.

Scarfmaker Thu 01-Oct-09 20:33:15

Hinagiku I agree with you totally - I can't believe some posters are saying that 3 years old is ok to be sat at a computer - even if it is for a short while. Even if it is in the EYFS let them at least wait until reception. At 5 children will still learn just as fast how to use them if they have to.

So it's ok to sit kids in front of a computer but not the TV? I asked this question to my childminding co-ordinator when she told me I should be using the computer with my mindees. I think she was a bit stumped and then told me there are other ICT resources I can use e.g. hand-held toys and games. I will use these.

Catzee Thu 01-Oct-09 20:43:33

TVs are a lot different from computers though - TVs are essentially a passive activity where as computers are interactive. The children are doing an activity, just like painting or building a tower.

Hulababy Thu 01-Oct-09 21:37:09

I have heard nothing so far to convince me that it will harm a young child or toddler to use a computer for 10 minutes or so every so often.

Oblomov Fri 02-Oct-09 07:51:37

Totally DISAGREE with scarf and OP.
Am shocked that you could think that any activity, ofsted approved, being donw for 10 minutes, yes, 10 means, can cause harm. Very odd.
Plus, what is wrong passive things ? running around, painting, then a story, or whatever whatever. its called a question of balance. strenous activities, individual, group, communicative, etc etc.
a bit of tv never did a child any harm. or a few minutes of computers. I can not fathom your mindset.

sarah293 Fri 02-Oct-09 08:52:18

Message withdrawn

MmeGoblindt Fri 02-Oct-09 08:57:36

I think that 10 mins of computer time do not harm a 3yo.

I also do not think that it is beneficial for a 3yo.

My DC are 7yo and 5yo and have never used a computer. I just don't see the need.

I did not use a computer until I was about 15 or 16 and still managed to learn how. My parents were in their 50s.

It is not rocket science.

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