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?