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under5s - introducing information technology
Introducing Information Technology to Children

The generation of children that are growing up in today’s society are information and technology dependent - they need to be able to work computers, dvd players and the latest technology but how can you help introduce these skills at home. Not everyone has the latest equipment, but you can encourage your children to interact with technology using everyday equipment.

One of the great toys of childhood is the toy telephone - has your child got one ? 

Their imaginary friend or relation is at the end of the phone,and always available to talk. Children soon learn that by pressing a few buttons, they can ring a parent at work, tell someone their news or make plans for later.

Introduce them to the real telephone, show them how to phone a grandparent or a friend and let them have a turn at listening and talking. They now know how it works and that different numbers mean different people.

The television remote control, this is one toy that all children seemed to want to play with from an early age, and they quickly realise that if they press a button something happens and the picture changes, the volume increases, it goes off or the others moan at them. They quickly learn that different buttons have different functions and cause different things to happen.
Technology is all around us, we can watch a jelly melt as it turns round in the window of the microwave, and discover that as it is heated up it turns from a solid to a liquid. We can do the reverse, put liquid into a mould and put it in the freezer and learn how technology turns it into a solid. We can turn on a kettle and hear the water boil. We can vacuum the carpet and watch the particles being sucked inside, and we can flick a switch and have instant lighting.  How do you pay for your shopping, if you use a credit card, have the children got one for when they play shop. Do you have to do things at a certain time - have they access to a clock or a watch, can they put a video in the machine, or turn the television on?
Imagine a power cut that lasts for over a week and a fuel strike - no computer, possibly no phone, no transport, no electricity or gas. Can you imagine that all the meals your family eat are provided either cold or heated on a fire, you have no light, no heat, no generator! All the equipment in your home and at work no longer function - you have to get your supplies daily, work within the local town, and be fairly self supportive, go back a 100 years, could you cope without an indoor toilet?

It really shows how we rely on technology and equipment for even the simple things like getting us out of bed, and supplying us with toast and coffee, so it is important that children are introduced to it at an early stage.

Helen Renouf
Registered Childminder
Nursery Nurse (NNEB)

under5s - introducing information technology
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