Computers for children

From: Doug Yowza <>
Date: Tue Jan 12 21:38:20 1999

On Tue, 12 Jan 1999, Ward D. Griffiths III wrote:

> Well, I was reading before my fourth birthday, but there weren't any
> (kid accessable) computers in 1959. I had to use paper.

You wouldn't have had to use paper if you had been reading the right mags.
I know of at least three distinct computer-like things that were available
for under $40 in 1959: the Geniac/Tyniac/Brainiac (I'll count those as
one), the Calculo analog computer, and the Microlog.

I didn't have any of them when I was a kid either, but I wish I had.
Paper's cool too, though. I thought I was going to be an artist until
some sort of hormonal override kicked in.

> Computers are good for a kid to learn. But books are critical.

Books are OK. But I think the key is to present a kid with challenging
space to explore on her own. Reading is pretty passive. Interactive
computer instruction is less passive, but less rich than books and
generally too confined a space for exploration. The best possible
education: a laboratory, a bunch of reference manuals, and some compelling
problems to solve. But that's just a metaphor for life, I guess.

-- Doug
Received on Tue Jan 12 1999 - 21:38:20 GMT

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