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ęSunday Times Metro
January 25 1998
Computerwise
Focus on education and training
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CATCHING THEM EARLY - K-Net managing director Jil Hrdliczka believes that computers should be part of every youngster's learning experience moderntotlarge.jpg (6238 bytes)
 

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 telephone calls."

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 or write."

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 computers.

"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.

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