Computers Correlate To Pre-School Development

from the in-my-day,-we-used-an-abacus dept

A serious research journal article suggests that 3-5 year old kids who use computers tend to develop better learning skills than those who don't use computers. But the frequency of computer use didn't seem to be related to learning development, and "computer use" activities weren't well-defined. So at best, the correlation between computer use and development exists, but no causation. And interestingly, there was no correlation between video games and cognitive development or gross motor skills. So computers don't make kids smarter automatically. No big surprise: computers are just tools that can be put to use in ways that could improve learning. The same could be said of pencils and books.

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  1.  
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    BoilerBob, Jun 7th, 2004 @ 7:21am

    Cause and Effect

    Could it be that parents who spend time teaching their kids skills (alphabet, simple math, colors, etc.) produce kids that develop skills earlier? You're right, the computer is a tool that used correctly aids development.

     

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  2.  
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    Ed Halley, Jun 7th, 2004 @ 7:37am

    No Subject Given

    (Pardon the pride.) My daughter is turning five in a couple months. She can already read 20-page early reading books that she's never seen before. She entertains herself with reading materials that she can't yet read, but she likes to study the pages anyway.

    All of the computer edu-tainment games tend to highlight words visually as they are read out loud. This is pretty effective, but so is a parent's finger pointing as we read the words. Either the kid "gets it" quickly, or doesn't.

    I think the bigger correlation is that parents who let the kid use a computer are, on the whole, able to offer the kid other kinds of learning-friendly home life. Just looking at income, there are basically three tiers: can't afford books, can afford books but not computers, can afford a computer and all the books the kid wants.

     

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  3.  
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    Ben Gracewood, Jun 7th, 2004 @ 1:43pm

    My thoughts exactly

    That was my exact thought when I read this article.

    The link between socio-economic status and levels of intelligence/education is very well defined. It surprises me that a number of studies seem to find links between things that are obviously a part of the same correlation (e.g. health, access to good schools/resources, attentive parents, lack of abuse), and seem to ignore the fact that it is just more of the same.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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