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

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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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:15PM (#46771033)

    I didn't know that the bricks could only be used once, and in one specific order.

  • by Kielistic ( 1273232 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:16PM (#46771047)
    Allow me to blow your mind. Those same pieces can be used to build what ever you can imagine. Then they can be taken apart and used to build something totally different. The instructions are only a suggestion.
  • 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:Relevant Skills (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Primate Pete ( 2773471 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:18PM (#46771089)
    It's not the blocks that are important, it is the active use of imagination and motor skills. Comparatively less imagination and motor skills are used interact with a flat, rectangular panel of glass. Kids learn (partly) by playing and doing. With tablet screens, they are not doing as much. Fruit Ninja does is not as good as blocks.
  • 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."

  • 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 n0ano ( 148272 ) <> 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.

  • 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 tepples ( 727027 ) <> on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:39PM (#46771387) Homepage Journal
    You're doing it wrong. LEGO kits are intended to be assembled into a model, then disassembled and reassembled into a different model. That's why the enclosed instruction book shows how to build more than one model. For a dramatization of how wrong you're doing it, go see The LEGO Movie.
  • by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:42PM (#46771425)

    We are talking about little kids. You tend to get them the Big Blocks instead.

    ... because little kids don't have the dexterity to use regular Legos. The reason two year old kids can use an iPad and aren't ready for standard Legos is because the latter requires more skill. TFA claims claims that exposing kids to technology is causing our civilization to spiral down the drain, but provides no evidence whatsoever, other than anecdotes and conjecture.

  • by profplump ( 309017 ) <> on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @02:47PM (#46771483)

    It also fails to acknowledge that LEGO is itself technology -- relatively modern, high technology in the grand scheme of humanity -- or provide any meaningful distinction between "good" technologies like verbal language and "bad" technologies like iPads.

    As with virtually all "kids these days" rants it's nothing more than an attempt to relive the past by forcing it on today's young people.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:30PM (#46772117)

    Actually the interesting models are supposed to be built about 2/3 of the way then abandoned when the builder figures out that the model had some really cool trick. The is particularly true of technic models and builders who like robotics. "Dude, did you see how the rack and pinion got used in the BLUFURBL? I've never seen it done quite that way, with a tweak that do exactly what I need for my RASCDFLR-bot..."

Truth is free, but information costs.