Monday, January 15, 2007

For yesterday's post I wanted an image to show the baby in lap position for hand play with infants. To help me create the simple line drawing, I looked for images on an internet stock photo site that I could use to help compose the drawing below. It is amazing what happens when you search in stock photo sites for the keywords infant and lap. I found photo after photo of the tiniest children sitting at laptop computers including the image from shown above.

Beginning with the hand play shown in yesterday's post, it is important to construct with your child a world of play and engagement. One of the things I find in teaching elementary school students is that they come to class with very little experience with scissors. They have a great deal of experience in play with toys of all kinds that can be manipulated in interesting ways predetermined by the toy maker. Computers are the same. They come with programs that allow predetermined manipulations. The kids get really fast in performing the manipulations, but never really understand the foundation of the technology.

Scissors you can get. Scissors are made in such a way that you can fully comprehend the technology involved. So, why would this be important? Can't we just let our children bask in the wonders of our current level of technology? First, it is extremely lazy on our parts. We can sip Starbucks, knowing that our children are safely entertained, and not demanding the attention we would give only half-heartedly anyway because it would distract from our own distractions. If you are reading this while ignoring the children in your house, I'll ask you to go away and come back at nap time.

Tomorrow, I will try to discuss the vector of development, what it is to be an artist, and why the very basic foundations of technology are important for all of us to understand. One last comment for today...we are spending billions of dollars to put computers in the hands of our children, but we're already shipping the computer jobs to India. We are investing our children's lives in a future for which they can't compete. In the meantime, we take such pride in seeing photos of our children sitting with their lap-tops, and miss the tragic irony that there are no real laps in sight.

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