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Education Portables

Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs 355

Posted by Soulskill
from the also-struggle-with-concept-of-hopscotch dept.
SpankiMonki sends this news from The Guardian: "Children are arriving at nursery school able to 'swipe a screen' but lack the manipulative skills to play with building blocks, teachers have warned. They fear that children are being given tablets to use 'as a replacement for contact time with the parent' and say such habits are hindering progress at school. Addressing the Association of Teachers and Lecturers conference in Manchester on Tuesday, Colin Kinney said excessive use of technology damages concentration and causes behavioural problems such as irritability and a lack of control."
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Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs

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  • I won't let them use a computer until they are 5.

    They they'll get taken away by CPS.

    • by ArhcAngel (247594)
      As long as you teach them proper Engrish.
    • by Qwertie (797303)
      I don't think the "use of technology" causes these problems. Rather it is the failure of children to play much with physical objects, as all previous generations have done, and in extreme cases, failure to learn social interaction. That doesn't mean we have to eliminate computers from children's lives, it means children need more parenting and human contact.
      • by profplump (309017)

        If only there were some way to combine technology and social interaction. Something like a systematic way to express and broadcast thoughts and feelings for the purposes of sharing one's mind with other humans and visa versa.

    • I thought that, until I had a kid.

      The problem is once they're about a year old, there's nothing to do with them. They can't talk, they aren't old enough to understand the concept of playing with someone else...all they can really do is run around and bang into stuff.

      However, I vowed to never be that guy who lets a TV raise his kid. So instead, my kid gets Sesame Street via Netflix on an iPad. Kid's 18 months old and already knows how to use a tablet.

    • . . . I don't know who they are.

  • by mindcandy (1252124) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:16PM (#46771049)
    geez, when I was a kid we had to play around with the chemicals under the sink for entertainment ..
  • Parents fault (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:16PM (#46771053) Homepage

    Most parents today are horrible. They do NOT interact with the chile like laying on the floor and playing with them. Get your asses off the couch and lie on the floor playing with your kids showing them how to stack blocks, and play.

    I gave my daughter a earfull having my granddaughter use the ipad at 2 to keep her entertained. No you play with her using physical objects, and interaction.

    • Re:Parents fault (Score:5, Insightful)

      by radtea (464814) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:27PM (#46771207)

      Most parents today are horrible.

      So, just like all parents have always been everywhere, except in the halcyon myths of ahistorical memory, then.

      Stories like this are hilarious. Do people really think that "moral panic over new tech" is going to sell to anyone who's been paying attention, well, ever?

      Bad parents will always parent badly. New tech has nothing to do with it. Removing new tech from bad parents won't make them better. It will make them parent badly in different ways.

    • by alen (225700)

      yeah, like in the old days

      you, go outside and play and don't come back until dinner

    • I gave my daughter a earfull having my granddaughter use the ipad at 2 to keep her entertained. No you play with her using physical objects, and interaction.

      There is a simple, less confrontational solution to this which solves both problems at once and provides an important, although expensive, lesson about not giving toddlers unsupervised access to delicate electronics. Introduce your granddaughter to the joys of a toy wooden hammer - the sort that comes with the hammer through peg sets. Then stand back and watch the fun although of course once the screen cracks you'll need to remove the iPad for safety. Even if the hammer is removed I was always amazed at ho

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Most parents today are horrible. They do NOT interact with the chile like laying on the floor and playing with them. Get your asses off the couch and lie on the floor playing with your kids showing them how to stack blocks, and play.

      I gave my daughter a earfull having my granddaughter use the ipad at 2 to keep her entertained. No you play with her using physical objects, and interaction.

      Most parents today are horrible. They do NOT interact with the chile like laying on the floor and playing with them. Get your asses off the couch and lie on the floor playing with your kids showing them how to stack blocks, and play.

      I gave my daughter a earfull having my granddaughter use the ipad at 2 to keep her entertained. No you play with her using physical objects, and interaction.

      You should really do both. My daughter had her own desktop computer before the age of 2. Mainly because she was so fascinated by me working on one all day. I loaded a bunch of edutainment programs on it for her. We didn't use it as a baby sitter though. We would do things together on it. Though sometimes she used it herself. But we also played with MegaBlocks when she was at that age too. It was fun to see how high we could stack them, or chase each other around with them on our fingers. As she got older we

    • My kid's a year and a half old and can already use an iPad to watch Sesame Street and Curious George. He also still finds time to run around in circles, bang on things and play with his toy cars. It doesn't have to be one thing or the other...it can be both.

      And if it were only one or the other, I'd still rather have the kid know how to use technology than blocks, anyway.

  • Kids these days... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by meta-monkey (321000) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:20PM (#46771121) Journal

    Exposing children to new technology is a terrible idea.

    An Egyptian legend relates that when the god Thoth revealed his invention of writing to King Thamos, the good King denounced it as the enemy of civilization. "Children and young people," protested the monarch, "who had hitherto been forced to apply themselves diligently to learn and retain whatever was taught them would cease to apply themselves and would neglect to exercise their memories."

  • We didn't give a tablet until age 4, for a very long car trip is what started it. They don't get it every day. Usually once or twice a week, and we limit it to 30 minutes. Sometimes an hour if it's a non school day.

    But my daughter love's lego friends. And my son is huge into super heros/star wars lego's. Yes they are expensive, but we find sales usually.

    I find it's about all around letting them do things. Out side play. Some kinect for bowling once in awhile instead of tablet time. Studying/reading/

  • Just use an app to make Lego constructions on a tablet. Teachers these days have NO connection to reality!

  • by n0ano (148272) <n0ano@arrl.net> on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:32PM (#46771257) Homepage

    Colin Kinney said excessive use of technology damages concentration and causes behavioural problems such as irritability and a lack of control.

    Seriously? These `behavioural problems` describe every pre-schooler I've ever met.

  • My theory on this is that when we moved away from keyboards and mice in the use of phones and tablets, we did away with the last remnants of manipulating three-dimensional solid objects while interacting with computing devices.

    I have this vague feeling that our connection to, and assumption that we can leverage, our animal evolutionary history is becoming more and more tenuous as we spend more of our time and focus interacting with items lacking analogs in nature:

    • printed language, as in books
    • industrial eq
  • by gabebear (251933) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:33PM (#46771277) Homepage Journal
    Who is actually raising these concerns?

    The main quote comes from a teacher who works for a think tank(that needs funding) talking about conversations he had with other teachers... not stuff he's done himself.

    "I've spoken to a number of nursery teachers who have concerns over the increasing numbers of young pupils who can swipe a screen but have little or no manipulative skills to play with building blocks – or pupils who can't socialise with other pupils, but whose parents talk proudly of their ability to use a tablet or smartphone."

  • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:36PM (#46771335)

    which is already concerning, as fine motor skills are very important, the other sentence in the article that worried me was the mention that kids now have trouble memorizing even simple lines for a play, since they are used to information being easily always available so they aren't putting in the effort of learning it.

    As much as easy global information access is great, unless you learn the basics it's quite difficult to make sense of what's available and to have an informed opinion. Just because you have a river of information always available it doesn't help if you can't relate to it, it makes you that much more susceptible to being influenced, because since you are not able to discriminate between quality information and misleading or wrong information, any page/blog/article of somebody with an agenda can just point to "studies" that support their point (no matter how objectively wrong that point is) and it transforms informed discussions into popularity contests.

    I don't think it's tinfoil hat time in terms of there being some sort of overall arching conspiracy about this, but it sure is concerning when you have a society like ours where media has many orders of magnitude more funding and impact than academia, I mean, even the word "academia" nowadays is overlaid with negative connotations (at least in North America) rather than the respect it should evoke: these days an actor/model stating an opinion can easily counterbalance hundreds of scientists/academics with fact-based studies.

    Before the internet there were just as many crackpot theories around, however they were not presented as if they were the same as science, if you went to the library you wouldn't find in the astronomy section geocentric books shelved together with heliocentric and general relativity ones: now with your browser on the "internet library" you can find professional-looking sites pro/anti everything and without the tools learned in school/university how can you make sense of which is right? especially in cases where the science is counter-intuitive for a particular issue?

  • by js3 (319268) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:36PM (#46771341)

    Kids will be familiar with whatever he/she has had time to play with. Ability to build legos doesn't come built it, kids who haven't seen one will still have to learn how to build them.

  • We had TV, PC, gaming console and now tablet.... what next?
  • give the toddlers a bunch of building blocks and hang the tablet from the ceiling.
  • by I7D (682601)
    I'm sure there's an App that simulates working with legos.
  • Parents responded by waving their hands in a brisk right-to-left motion in front of their eyes. "Hey!" They exclaimed, "Why won't these annoying lecturers just go away".

  • The problem is that you think the iPad is the problem.

    LEGOs can be used infinite ways, to create all kinds of things from the imagination. Guess what? So can an iPad.

    It is the lazy f'n parents, who take the easiest way out to pacify their over protected brats, and wonder why they cry when they don't get what they want later in life.
  • Both my kids were heavy into Legos up until about a year ago.

    What happened?

    They discovered Minecraft.
    They are still building (virtual) things and using their imagination and problem solving skills.

    I now save hundreds of dollars a year not buying Legos.

    Win/Win
  • LEGO, not LEGOs. (Score:4, Informative)

    by mattack2 (1165421) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @08:28PM (#46775475)

    It is the same singular or plural.

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