Computers - friend or foe?

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My son began work on a computer programming course a short time ago. Since school is not his favorite activity in life, I was excited to see his interest level rise! Then I got to thinking that when I was in school, computers were relatively unheard of and there was certainly no such thing as Windows programming courses.

Is our preoccupation with computers, and technology in general, a good thing? As I was cruising around the Internet (yes, sitting in front of my computer) seeking other people's thoughts on the matter, I came across some intriguing comments that might just inspire some conversation in your household (I know it will in mine).

  • They have allowed for advances in medicine. Where would MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) technology be without them?
  • They allow world-wide communication almost instantly. Parents find it easier to keep in touch with college students who are hundreds of miles away. Families use them to communicate with deployed husbands, wives and children.
  • We no longer have personal and intimate relationships with each other. We now base ourselves to the keyboard and push "SEND".
  • Computers have proved a threat to national and international security.

An article I came across titled Are Computers Really Bad for Kids? had some compelling thoughts to offer even though it is a couple of years old (which would be considered "ancient" in this age of ever-changing technology). While I know next to nothing about the author, she did make one statement which I can wholeheartedly support ... If you spend a lot of time in front of a computer as a child, you'll probably increase your chances of getting a job in the future. But you may not be nearly as literate or good at math as you might have been had you read more books or played more chess.

I suspect it is safe to say that technology (computers included) can be used for good, or can be abused. Nothing profound there. Balance is always key ... certainly we want to encourage reading as much, or more, than we encourage computer time. But on a much more practical level, are computers beneficial for your homeschool ... for your family?

Each household will have to come to their own conclusions on this issue. But I would like to suggest that we have to accept that our children are growing up in an age of technology. In the arenas of work, education and even recreation, they are going to need knowledge of how to use this tool. What better time than now, under your watchful eye, to begin introducing them to the world of computing?

The "Professor Teaches" series is an affordable, easily understood software tool that will make a great addition to your homeschool. And it makes a great computer science course for your students! Professor Teaches: Microsoft Office 2010 and Windows 7 helps to build your students' skills in one of the most widely used computer application suites in the world while also learning the latest Windows operating system. I would highly recommend this for all your students as familiarity with Microsoft Office products is going to be essential for pursuing further education.

Professor Teaches: Web Pages and Graphics is a great product for teaching students fundamentals of web design and HTML, advanced HTML, and how to create and change all sorts of web pages and graphics. Perfect for those students who show an interest and propensity for web design.

Some food for thought ...

Still on the journey ...
~Judy Wnuk
Sonlight's Customer Champion


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