Hi-Tech Play School

If you visit my blog regularly, follow my tweets or read my facebook updates you’ll know I’m a Play School fan.  A big one.  Partly because after more than 40 years on Australian television screens it remains the #1 program in the hearts of Aussie mum and kids – and partly because I secretly wonder if I’ve missed my calling in life by not being a presenter.

Yesterday the show opened with regular presenter Matt updating his blog on his laptop before sending a quick text to his co-presenter Karen, grabbing his digital camera and heading to the park!  Of course, the computer, phone and camera were all box constructions lovingly handmade out of recyclables.  I shared what I was seeing on fb and twitter.

and received lots of comments and positive tweets:

My readers were largely supportive of Play School’s hi-tech segment, but elsewhere online reactions ranged from bewilderment to outrage!  I for one fully support Play School’s inclusion of current technology in appropriate ways for the purpose of teaching our children about effective communication. It wasn’t an episode about playing computer games.  It was an episode about ways of sharing information, and helping our kids to understand the similarities and differences between online, offline, written, spoken and non verbal types of communication.  Like it or not, mobile devices are going to play an enormous role in our children’s lives, and our kids will need to be effective communicators in the digital world.

Here’s my daughter on her own box-construction laptop at 18mths of age:

And here’s her progression of laptop use from age 2-3:

Laptops, iphones, and other devices are a completely normal part of our world at home, and so they are completely normal for our kids.  Our three year old daughter already understands more about laptop usage than I did at thirteen (hang on, were laptops even around then…?).  I’ve posted about this before here.  As she grows it will be important for her to learn not only about the practical side of using technology, but also about the nuances between different communication platforms.  What we post on a blog is different from the information we would put in a txt and slightly different again from an update on facebook playbook (hehehe…. that was clever PS writers).  I applaud Play School for incorporating this understanding into their Communication theme this week.

What about you?

17 thoughts on “Hi-Tech Play School

  1. I wrote a post regarding gaming and robotics that are being used with young children. I have so many ideas for when I am teaching and one of those – especially with stage one students of creating a blog with them about our learning. Or with the younger students joining a group where we can interact with other classes through postcards or emails. I love using technology and children love using technology.

    Great post!
    .-= miss carly´s last blog ..Giveaway – Apooki =-.

  2. My kids know more about my iphone than I do. They all know how to use a computer and they know about social platforms such as twitter. Ivy and Noah even build twittering into their imaginative play.
    It’s the way of the world and Playschool is just keeping up with the times.
    It’s good, I think.

    Why fight something that is going to play a large role in their futures?

    Next year my big kids will all have laptops as part of their school equipment. All their work will be done on there and their assignments will be sent to the teacher via email.
    Who knows what things will be like by the time Ivy and Noah hit highschool.

  3. I did watch it when I got home and thought it was wonderful.

    Our kids have always been around computers thanks to having geeky parents but it was so nice to see, as you say, Playschool putting technology use into a good context.

    Thanks for letting us all know it was on or I might’ve missed it completely :)


    ps Adore your box construction laptop!

  4. Oh wonderful! My kids are “too old” for Play School (but they still sometimes sneakily watch and know to call me when Matt is on. :D) but my son in particular would have LOVED this episode as a little tacker. With kids doing technology at school from as early as kindergarten, having a small amount of exposure to technology is a good thing.

    Plus the world is more and more about technology. It’s not just the realm of geeks and tech-heads anymore, but how we function. So using it in play school is no different to pretending to fly a plane or drive a bus.

  5. oh poop I didn’t see it!

    Wish I had as I am in two minds about technology and very young children – would have loved to see playschool’s take on this
    .-= katef´s last blog ..Naming Rights =-.

  6. Technology certainly has changed alot since we were younger. I am all for change and progress and we need to support our children with all the progressions or they will be behind.

  7. we are keeping up, Miss 3 knows how to surf youtube on my Ipod, and on the computer. (ha 430 playschool is coming on right now) We send emails to Oma and Opa we surf the web. I dont want her falling behind, I dont even want her keeping up I want me kids to lead the way. No use being a follower.

  8. @Rizoleey

    Well spotted! The letters on the laptop are L for Lily, M for Mummy, and D for Daddy. G she learned quite early because we pushed that button in the lift, and we talked about B for Baby quite a bit so it made up the 5th letter.

  9. I guess I do not understand the controversy this would cause. We are a very “connected” family and I feel that technology fits right in next to the crayons and storybooks.

    I mean, if the people who were upset were watching Play School, chances are it was on a TV right?
    .-= rachel´s last blog ..clover jane is a mess, but =-.

  10. I was a little shocked at first, but then i loved it. Is seems they continued the theme today with digital cameras and hand held GPS. I think it’s great they are teaching our kids about the world they live in.
    LOVE your cardboard laptop too. I’m going to make one if that’s ok. :)

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