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is it possible to opt out of using computers within the state system?

(166 Posts)
zebramummy Fri 31-Jul-09 20:46:33

i hate computers - i know, i am sitting here staring at one - however, i managed to avoid them until i started working in my twenties and yes, they were around prior to this mainly for wordprocessing, designing and games although email and internet had not really taken off. i have always felt privately disgusted by the two computers at ds' nursery and i strongly believe that they are completely uneccesary and have no place within an early years setting. i have heard about ICT at school and i am starting to get the feeling that it is a non-negotiable part of school-life. am i the only person who feels this way?

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 31-Jul-09 20:48:29

Message withdrawn

EyeballsintheSky Fri 31-Jul-09 20:49:28

Well I'm sure you must be able to opt out as certain religions do not use them, but you'd be bloody stupid to do so. When your children are older, computers will be even more of a force than they are now and yes, they will learn but they'll be at a huge disadvantage. And why would you do it anyway? This is one of those things that is totally selfish and what you want, rather than what's good for your children. Totally pointless and slightly barmy to disapprove.

How TF can you be 'disgusted' by computers?

seeker Fri 31-Jul-09 20:49:29

Why on earth would you want to deny your child access to one of the most fabulous tools of the modern age?

EldonAve Fri 31-Jul-09 20:49:57

why do you hate computers?

Katisha Fri 31-Jul-09 20:50:09

I agree that they are unecessary in a nursery setting.

Depends what age you want to avoid them till though...

FAQtothefuture Fri 31-Jul-09 20:57:40

I'm sure you could ask that your children don't use computers in school.

However, they'd be missing out on a wealth of learning opportunities - it's not just "ICT" that comnputers are used for, they're used for other areas of the curriculum too - just used an another tool in which to teach things.

hocuspontas Fri 31-Jul-09 20:58:36

Apart from nursery and reception where they can choose to play with them in free play, the rest of the school probably use theirs once a week, maybe in maths or topic. Or in an ICT lesson obviously! Which is once a week for our juniors. I used to feel like you! I agree about restricting the use in early years but it seems that the government want them and, as I said before, it's up to the children if they want to use them. To see a 5 year old slumped at a computer playing games, albeit educational games, when the rest of the class are outside interacting with each other, feels not quite right and we do sometimes not switch them on (don't tell!)

Now the interactive whiteboards are another thing entirely! They are a great asset to teaching having many different uses.

southeastastra Fri 31-Jul-09 21:00:20

no i feel the same as you, i despaired when ds started secondary and every essay was typed and flowered up with jazzy borders.

it's like holding back a tidal wave though, hard to stop.

FAQtothefuture Fri 31-Jul-09 21:07:54

hocus - DS1 (YR3) uses them more than once a week outside of ICT.

And I know neither of the DS's school allow children to stay inside and use the computers when it's playtime.

piscesmoon Fri 31-Jul-09 21:09:42

I don't think you can opt out anywhere-they are a fact of life. I'm not sure why you would want to.

southeastastra Fri 31-Jul-09 21:10:45

in case there is a worldwide electrical shortage could happen y'know

hocuspontas Fri 31-Jul-09 21:12:00

It was free play in reception I was talking about not playtime! No that would DEFINITELY not be allowed!

blithedance Fri 31-Jul-09 21:15:15

Our school uses Education City (website) for homework - consequently we're faced with needing to set up a family PC for Y1 and YR children, about 5 years earlier than we expected to. (So they don't muller my precious MN-laptop!)

The worry is that once the thing is there in the lounge we won't be able to hold back the tide of games chatrooms and websites and our lovely active boys will turn into couch potato computer nerds overnight.

But I guess that doesn't happen or I'd have read it here!

FAQtothefuture Fri 31-Jul-09 21:15:38

they don't do "free play" outside with all the rest of the class outside either. They're in small groups doing various activities.

blithedance Fri 31-Jul-09 21:17:47

Sorry that was a bit off topic. I think the school computer time is well structured and limited, although if DS is late in afterschool club he tends to end up in the ICT suite for the last half hour. I don't feel I'm in any positition to criticise that though, since I'm the one working until 6pm!

LovelyTinOfSpam Fri 31-Jul-09 21:21:15

You should be able to. There is a largeish religious group in my area who are not allowed to use computers, watch TV, listen to the radio or read newspapers. The LEA have to accomodate the children after a court case in the late 80s (I think - long time ago now).

You have to ask for your DC to be excluded from any lessons/activities etc where they might come into contact with or where computers are used. There is precedent in law for religious groups so I guess you could try citing that, if they won't have it.

Goblinchild Fri 31-Jul-09 21:21:40

I taught a couple of Exclusive Bretheren children who were not permitted to use computers, so they were withdrawn from the lesson.
As it's a core subject in the curriculum, I think you would be on thin ice trying to withdraw them on any other grounds than religious.

southeastastra Fri 31-Jul-09 21:22:05

i do think they're taught using too much technology too early

NotanOtter Fri 31-Jul-09 21:22:37


I am with you

I fought long and hard for my eldest to not use computers once he hit secondary school. I think they 'google' instead of research - spend hours typing rather than writing. i feel it inhibits artistic flow with subjects like english etc

I loathe them in education .

It was a battle

My eldest did very well in his gcses and now i have ammunition when dds teachers start telling me everything needs to be word processed.

Sorry if this does not answer your question re primary but education is too short for grils to spend it on msn and boys on lord knows what...

it is my biggest bug bear and i salute you

NotanOtter Fri 31-Jul-09 21:24:16

children should play and do stuff not look at screens and 'talk' to their friends via a keyboard

southeastastra Fri 31-Jul-09 21:26:20

my 15 year old is doing that as we speak it's so depressing, though he has friends all over the world apparently

FAQtothefuture Fri 31-Jul-09 21:26:29

NaO - I had the opposite problem at school with writing.

At Standard Grade level I struggled through writing essays, sheet after sheet scribbled out and thrown away.

Hit Highers when I could use a computer (and learnt then - although had used a BBC Micro computer at home - not quite the same as a PC grin and it was like a dream come true for me. I finished my essays in a fraction of the time, got better marks, and generally enjoyed subjects involving essays a 100 times more smile.

Even now I'm dreading my OU exam in October - 3 hours of writing - eeek.

FAQtothefuture Fri 31-Jul-09 21:28:18

oh here we go - children that use computers don't play - they just spend all day staring at it - was wondering how long those wild assumptions would take to start appearing.

No - not true (unless you let them) - they spend time doing lots of different things and using a computer is just one of many things.

brimfull Fri 31-Jul-09 21:28:33

Your children may feel left out of things

but if you feel that strongly and you feel it's worth it then speak to the school.

It is a massive part of life though and I don't see a problem with them but this is about your feelings towards computers .

Why do you hate them?

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