CATCHING THEM EARLY - K-Net managing director
Jil Hrdliczka believes that computers should be part of every youngster's learning
Technology is child's play to the modern tot
Children as young as three are learning to use computers
to do anything from improving their hand-eye co-ordination when they are toddlers to
talking to friends around the world when they are a little older.
Jil Hrdliczka, the managing director of K-Net computer
school, says children are a lot more comfortable with technology then older generations -
but they tend to focus on what computer can do for them.
"Being able to use E-mail, for instance, is a lot
more useful to a child than the ins and outs of file transfer protocols," she says.
"It's what technology can do for children that they
find fascinating and useful. Instead of running off to the local library for a school
project, kids can use their computers to tap into some of the world's largest electronic
databases or email people and organisations for information.
"The Net is also a cheap alternative to long-distance
She said more parents were having their children taught
about computers from an early age.
"Children as young as three can use PCs to
differentiate colors, understand shapes and create pictures - even if they cannot yet read
Current wisdom is that children should be exposed fairly
young so that, by the time they leave school, computers will be totally familiar, she
says. "They start young and keep up to date."
But she warns against children spending too much time on
"As with television, it's not a great idea for a kid
to be left alone with a PC for hours. Its use should be monitored."
K-Net has found that teenage boys are the most attracted
to technology. "Girls tend to be self-conscious and more social at similar
ages," says Hrdliczka.
Parents, meanwhile, are starting to take an active
interest in computers and a growing number are taking lessons.