Kids are being introduced to technology and are learning about computers at a very tender age. Children as young as 3 – 4 years step into the computer labs introduced to them by their preschool teachers. When was the first time you discovered the parts of a computer? Maybe in your middle school grade!
Technology is changing rapidly and its usage is more rampant than ever before. Even an infant is put to sleep with songs played by Alexa on Amazon’s cloud-based voice service device. EdTech companies are changing the way schools’ function and Smart Home technology is slowly enveloping home owners in the lap of luxury.
By the time children enter preschool a majority of them are able to navigate through apps on a smartphone device or an iPad.
Teach Children how to Take Care of Computers
Start by teaching children that computers and laptops must be handled carefully. Ask them how to not spill water or food over these electronic devices and how to pack them safely when not in use and store it in a case. Name all the hardware devices until they learn to recognize the mouse/mousepad, screen, keys, and CPU of desktop computers. Demonstrate how to clean & dry one’s hands before using these devices. Offer a word of caution while plugging-in the charger into the electrical socket and advise them to ask for help from an adult while turning on switches.
Navigation with Mouse
After children have learnt and understood how to take care of their electronic devices, proceed to explain how to switch-on the laptop or a desktop. Children should be aware where the power button is and by watching you turn-on the device a couple of times, they will get the hang of how this function works. Now that the amusing master machine is unleashed to your children, it’s time to explore! Show them the mouse and point out to the left and right click, as well as the scroller in the middle. Demonstrate how using the mouse, helps the cursor to move about on the screen. Explain what the arrow means and when the arrow turns into a pointed finger. Now let the learners try their hands at moving the cursor with the help of a mouse. Modify the speed of the mouse to a slower pace, so that they don’t get intimidated and wonder where the cursor arrow disappeared. Since children are in the process of developing their hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, and movement of the wrist, don’t expect them to be champs at navigating the mouse pointer.
Browsing Through Basic Applications
To explain the true utility of computers, it is necessary to witness getting work done. So, open a few basic apps such as paint, or a gaming application, or even play their favorite nursery rhyme. Now let them try their hands at opening and closing applications. Don’t restrict them, just let them explore by themselves. In the Middle East, especially in Dubai, TechnoKids has made learning of computer basics more engaging. The TechnoBasics curriculum is designed to enable educators to not only teach correctly, but also test the student’s knowledge through structurally planned assessment modules. A few topics that are covered under TechnoBasics are; What are computers? Getting to Know the Mouse. What is input and output? Computer rules and Spy apps. And there are more such topics, on similar lines.
Familiarization with Keyboard
Let children observe the keyboard and point out to the section which has letters and the other sections which have numbers and arrows. Open a word document and encourage students to type out CVC words and 1 to 10 numbers. The TechnoLetters module by TechnoKids solves dual purposes. First it helps children identify the letters on their screens and then type out the corresponding letter to match what they see. Most schools in GCC, including the UAE have found it beneficial for children to practice their computer skills on the TechnoKids software which is integrated in the school’s computer lab.
As the saying goes, catch them young is actually true when it comes to teaching your kids the basic computer literacy. No matter what profession they choose, the understanding of computers is going to help them excel. However, a word of caution! Do not leave your child with the computer unattended. Always be there to monitor their activities.