Children are often greatly influenced by the environment in which they are brought up. They tend to copy the things that they see and hear. Computers are increasingly becoming popular and a good number of homes at least have a desktop computer of a laptop. A child that is born in an environment where people use computer will be highly influenced by that environment and as a result, they will develop certain positive traits that may help them in life at a later age. The objective of this research is to analyze how the computer can help a child develop positively. Computer knowledge is also very significant in the current generation and nearly becoming necessary for every person. Many inventions and machineries are computer based and a person must have excellent skills to effectively control such. This is why computers play a very great task in ensuring that children develop positive traits and skills that are relevant to their lives.
At the ages of one and two years, the centre of interests of children is normally on the things they see and touch. At this age, a child may not necessarily know what a computer is, but will at least have glimpse of the things it is used for. Probably the only interest a child of this age may have on the computer is just touching and watching the screen. Despite the little awareness that the child may have about a computer, this stage offers a very good introduction of computer to the child. Generally, the more often the child sees the computer in use, the more they learn the various elements/hard ware’s of the computer. For instance, a child that regularly sees the father typing on the computer may at times be tempted to do the same. In the process, they get to learn that the keyboard is used for typing and mouse for pointing.
At the age of between four to seven years, a child gains so much interest in computer and this is where they struggle to learn how the mouse and the keyboard operate. This is the point where they ask their parents to teach them how to play games, or just put and watch movies on the computer. This stage is very important for these children since they get to learn a lot from the computer. Apart from the technical skills that they gain from operating the computer, they also develop creative skills. Such skills may result from the way they see the computer operated and the games they play (Asamen et al, Pg 16). One thing about the character of a child at this stage is that they love toys; therefore, by playing games, they get to learn how vehicles operate (in cases where they play car-racing games). At the same time, they begin making their own toys out of what they see in the games. This is all because of the developing creativity in the mind.
Similarly, a child at this age normally learns speech. From what they watch in cartoons and the games they play on computer, they get to know what certain expressions refer to or mean. They also learn how to listen keenly to what they hear. This stage is very crucial in child development as it marks their onset of social interactions skills. They must therefore know the best way to do so. Parents normally install various programs in the computer; such may include TV card, internet, and radio among other things. A child at this age may begin interacting with these, and watch the way people behave in the various programs that they watch. They get exposed to the way people express themselves in certain situations a factor that greatly helps them shape up to the same character.
At around the age of 10, the child is normally at the onset of his/ her adolescent. Here they become aggressive and very selective over what they watch and do on the computer. It is during this time that they will concentrate on certain programs more than others will. This stage demands them to learn a lot and therefore they develop a great desire to learn new things. Due to difference in interest, some children may just love to watch people dance. In the process, they find themselves imitating what they see hence perfecting their skills in dancing. Others may just have interest in the manner people argue out in certain situations. They will therefore find themselves watching many movies where people argue in an insightful manner. By constantly watching, they find themselves internalizing these ideas and beginning to apply them in their daily lives (SaÃ§kes et al, Pg 19).
Far from that, they will begin realizing that computers are not only used for entertainment but also for academic purposes. This occurs mostly between the ages of 10 and 15 when the child is actively being engaged in schoolwork. At this point they will begin reading and doing their assignments from the computer, alongside watching their movies. Through the assistance of parents, they can access the internet and find solutions to their homework. At this age, parents have the task of ensuring that children use the computers correctly incase of using internet. The internet at this time greatly exposes them to many academic materials that are significant in their studies.
As the child approach 18 years old, they are normally well acquitted with the computer and can handle them perfectly. Here they will use it for performing many tasks that they find relevant. For example, they can use the computer to interact with friends through various sites. The interaction here is very important since it nurtures characters and attributes the children learn from their fellow. Many researchers have found out that constant exposure of these kids to computer makes them develop the skills for maintaining and even repairing it when it is spoilt.
Many people especially those so-called computer wizards begin their knowledge from childhood. As they progress, they get to understand it even better through regular interaction. Since it is ever there in their environment, they internalize the aspects and elements in it thus having wide knowledge about it. It is also during this time that many children develop creative ideas. Because they understand the manner in which the computer operates, they may begin trying to incorporate their own ideas into the computer system to see the result. In many cases, they normally experience an array of failures but after many attempts come up with a substantive idea that will benefit the industry or the entire world.
A research performed by the University of Toronto discovered that children who have longer exposure to computers have great academic improvements as well as improvement in their IQ. Such students are normally seen to improve in many areas that are greatly relevant to their studies and social lives. Such include sports, art, and music. This can be attributed to the many ideas and information that they are exposed to. They are therefore enlightened and know the right solutions to the daily problems that they interact with (from the official website about kid’s health).
Computers play an integral part in many schools. The e learning encourages the use of computers in schools. A child who has knowledge and exposure to computer will stand a better chance of benefiting from this. Such will never have to let their parents spend money on training them how to use computers. Consequently, many jobs require computer knowledge and a person who has had exposure to computer throughout his/ her childhood will stand a better chance of getting such jobs.
From the above analysis, it is clear that computers play a very important role in child development. This begins right from their infancy stage to adulthood. They get to learn many things that benefit them at a later part of their lives (Weinberger et al, Pg 22). Therefore, parents must take the responsibility of ensuring that their children have adequate exposure to computers right from their childhood to adult hood. Good parents will also monitor their children’s use of computers. They ensure the children do not engage in harmful procedures like watching immoral movies, playing dirty games, and even meeting immoral friends to cha. In this way, children will get the best in a computer-based environment.
“AboutKidsHealth News – AboutKidsHealth.” Trusted Answers from The Hospital for Sick Children -AboutKidsHealth. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Apr. 2013. <http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca/En/News>.
Asamen, Joy Keiko, Mesha L. Ellis, and Gordon L. Berry. The SAGE handbook of child development, multiculturalism, and media. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications, 2008. Print.
SaÃ§kes, Mesut , Kathy Cabe Trundle, and Randy L. Bell. “Young children’s computer skills development from kindergarten to third grade.” Journal of children and computers 1.2 (2011): 13-20. Print.
Weinberger, Nanci , Traci Anderson, and Phyllis Schumacher. “Young childrenâ€™s access and use of computers in family child care and child care centers.” Computers in Human Behaviour 2.1 (2008): 11 -26. Print.