Saturday, December 29, 2007

Dawning of the computer age

Usually Trillian and I take a backseat on gift-giving for both Christmas and Scooter's birthday. We'll pick out something we think he'll like, but nothing very expensive.

But this year, we decided to go for something a little bit bigger: a computer. Maybe you've read about One Laptop Per Child--if not, go take a look. In any case, Trillian and I decided that it might be time to give Scooter his own bit of technology. He has shown interest in our laptops, but has generally restrained himself from messing with them. The laptop we got him is somewhat limited in its software, but it is incredibly durable. And cute.

So far, Scooter has let us do the navigation, as the touchpad mouse is a bit difficult for him to maneuver. We play the memory game a lot--one version has him matching uppercase letters with their lowercase versions, the other involves basic addition (and he's now able to do the simpler problems). He absolutely loves the built-in camera and will get me to take picture after picture. His favorite activity, however, is to have me do a bunch of typing in the word processing program so that he can hold down the Erase button and watch it all disappear.

I have to say that the decision to get Scooter his very own laptop was not automatic for us. We never went for the toddler computer accessories, and we don't want to turn this into another screen he spends a lot of time in front of. But I also think it's unavoidable that Scooter will need to have computer skills; heck, he's likely to begin keyboarding at school as soon as he starts reading. So this seemed like as good a time as any to begin his opportunity to experiment with technology.

I'm sure we're in for a lot more memory and photos and typing before we move on to other things. But hey, he typed his own name today!


Aliki2006 said...

I think this is a great idea! L. doesn't have his own laptop, but he does have a donated iMac computer in his room that my dad's work was going to throw our. Actually, computers have proven invaluable for L. He struggles with his handwriting and with organizing his ideas on paper, so he spends quite a bit of time doing his spelling homework on the computer.

motherbumper said...

B received a toddler laptop (not a real laptop) for Christmas and she loves to see what each button does. I figure she is going to be using one soon enough so she might as well be comfortable.

Three cheers for Scooter typing his name and happy holidays to everyone at the Mouse Nest :)

Mouse said...

Scooter will definitely have trouble with handwriting too. He gets very frustrated that he can't produce what he expects to see. I'll be encouraging him to continue practicing his writing, but I bet he'll do homework--once he has it--mostly on a computer too.

One of the reasons we got him the computer is that he only recently became interested in seeing what the buttons do on our computer. Now he can mess with his instead of messing up Trillian's work or my papers.

Laural Dawn said...

That's a great idea. I'm in no rush for Matt to be totally into computers, but at the same time I'd like it to be natural for him.
Already he'll say "just google it" if I don't know something.
There are computers in libraries and at daycare, so why not.
That's awesome that Scooter typed his name.
Matt loves numbers, but is not at all interested in letters or his name.

Lisa b said...

He typed his name. That is great!
Computer skills are very important.
That site you linked to looks very cool. I'll have to go back and take a closer look.
My friend works in development and we did a bunch of presentations based in this kind of stuff in a course we did. The other students thought we were nuts, yet here it is.