As certain as death and taxes,

  carolineann 21:02 10 Oct 2004

when election time rolls around, politicians will begin giving speeches about education .
I wonder what other forum members think of computers in our schools, good or bad.?
What sort of age should children be introduced to computers?

  stalion 21:13 10 Oct 2004

I think computers in schools is inevitable and as the technology is advancing all the time I think the day will come in the future when we will be wearing computers as part of our clothing.As to what age for children to be introduced to computers I would not know but most of them are starting at an early age via playstation etc consoles and then eventually progressing to computers.
One thing I would say don't let them on this forum to soon or they will be here every day like i'm not.

  carolineann 21:22 10 Oct 2004

Yes I think that you are right it is inevitable.

I dont suppose it will be long before the hand held computer in schools will be the norm much like calculaters are now.


  LastChip 21:37 10 Oct 2004

My youngest son, 14, was teaching his teacher how to operate a computer at the age of 9 at Junior school!

His present school has state of the art equipment which is constantly being up-graded on a cycle of around three to four years. The sixth form (A Levels) has equipment that has to be seen to be believed!

The head teacher has obtained Specialist Business Status for the school, and is very switched on to business partnerships with both local and international companies.

Whilst I accept, not everyone is in that enviable position, it is clear that schools are accepting computers as a real teaching aid and indeed the syllabus calls for it.

Computer illiteracy, is not an option!

  VoG II 21:43 10 Oct 2004

I think that most families in the UK now have computers, and most of these are likely to be connected to the internet.

So, when most children start school, seeing a few computers should be no more of a shock than seeing a TV, or a sink for that matter.

Computers (in one form or another) are here to stay so, in my opinion, the earlier the kids get hands on experience and learn to be comfortable using computers the better.

My only negative thought about this is the extent to which children (and indeed degree students) plagiarise articles on the internet, Encarta and so on to do their homework and coursework. I know that plagiarism from books etc. has gone on from time immemorial but it is a lot easier now. But perhaps that is a subject for another thread...

  It's Me 22:05 10 Oct 2004

I don't know whether it is good or bad, but it is happening. Already you need computer literacy to get anything like a decent job. Just so long as they do and have the disipline of all the other subjects as well.

The junior school teachers will have a struggle to keep up with some little Jonnys who spend all their lives on the PC, when they themselves have other subjects, work and a life to lead. I feel for them in junior schools. I assume that in High/Grammer or what ever, there will be some staff able to concentrate on IT, and the others on how it effects their specialised subject.

  Wilham 22:09 10 Oct 2004

I'm only in favour of computers taking a very small part in compulsory education. For the interested and at same time keen young minds,- let them opt for IT or C Science as minor subjects,... not be pushed into it.

Trouble with computers as such is that most of the know-how currently carried in the heads of computer users is transitory. Current practice rather than principles of technology is all that's needed to believe oneself to be computer literate.

An afterthought,... if teachers of English pressed for it I'd add Word Processing to the options.

  carolineann 22:18 10 Oct 2004

Whilst I agree computers do have the potential to revolutionize teaching and learning, students still need to
communicate effectively in speech and in writing.

It's Me
Yes I think some teachers will struggle perhaps.

  Forum Editor 23:32 10 Oct 2004

that I see computers primarily as a teaching aid - although they can undoubtedly be a great help in that direction.

The thing to bear in mind is that computers are now inextricably bound up in the mainstream of our lives, whether we like it or not, and our children will inhabit a world where the computer is as familiar an object to them as a TV has become to us. Most of them will use computers in one way or another for the rest of their lives, and the sooner they become familiar with them the better. I would love to see the day when every child has access to a personal computer every day - not as a replacement for a human teacher, no computer can do that, but as an adjunct.

When I go to Singapore I'm always invited to the home of one of my clients, and I see their children using computers for their homework. All Singapore schools have computers available for all children, and the regulations state that all new homes must have broadband cabling laid on as they're built. They recognise that the future of their country depends on their citizens being computer literate, and we should do the same.

  watchful 08:35 11 Oct 2004

I think that, as said above, the key part of computer ownership and use is the the fact that it is becoming necessary to obtain jobs and join in the worldwide useage.

As to it being an aid to education I tend to agree with VoG and, speaking from experience, I, and several friends, have children with university educations who didn't have any computer experience at all. It makes learning easier, too easy I feel and I think that young children these days spend too much time at their computers when they should be outside playing games etc.

Nevertheless, all our Junior schools have them now in the name of progress and in order to keep ahead with technology. Whether it will prove to be a good thing or not, time will tell. I have my doubts.

  spuds 10:39 11 Oct 2004

The thing that concerns me is the fact, that some schools and education centres have a very difficult time in raising funds for general usage. Trying to obtain x thousands of pound for a computer suite, must be very daunting for some headmaster or principals of these establishments. The government stated that all schools would have these facilities, but some schools seem to fair far much better than others.

The other thing that I would consider, is the moving away from the pencil and paperwork learning of the basic three 'R's'.More dependency on computer systems for the basics of life, could have a very significant effect on our childrens education.One major electricity grid failure, then we have a serious threat of disaster. A typical incident the other day, my local bank was closed with a 'Sorry for the Inconvenience'notice. The reason was the power supply and computer system went down.No dealing transactions were undertaken that day by the general public.

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