Computers in Preschool — The Bump
Pre-School

Computers in Preschool

DH and I are trying to choose which full day preschool program we will switch our oldest son to. The one DH likes best does have a computer in the preschool room for 4 year olds and a computer in the room for 5 year olds (so DS would move to these rooms as he gets older). The preschool I liked better had no computers for any of the age levels, as well as no tvs (these are daycare centers/preschools). Are computers in preschool rooms common now? I will admit I am pretty anti-tech when it comes to screen time for my 3 year old, so for me the computers were a red flag. I also didn't like the system for kids to use them. They can earn tickets by doing various things, and if they want, they can trade their tickets in for computer time. I'm not sure if I like the idea of computer time as a reward. But there were a lot of other good factors about this preschool, so I'm trying not to rule it out for this one thing.
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Re: Computers in Preschool

  • DS is in K3 and he has two computers in his classroom.  I'm not sure how many computers are in the Pre-K (K4) classroom---I think at least four.

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  • DS has them in his school.  My brother is rebuilding an old computer for him for Christmas and he will get time on it as a reward.  I think a reward system for computer time is great.  The kids get about 10 min a day of computer time at school.  In the grand scheme of things that isn't much.  
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  • DD has them at her school starting in the 3s room.  There are 2 computers and they are basically another center that they use every day/every other day.  I think they are there about 15 minutes at a time.  There is no internet access and its basically just to give them access to a common technology, get them comfortable w/ the mouse, keyboard, etc.  There are maybe 4 or 5 game on there that the kids can choose - they are all educational preschool games - w/ Clifford, Blue's Clues, etc. I don't have a problem with it.  They don't have TVs or any other "screen" time
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  • I don't think you're going to be able to avoid having your kids become proficient with computers in this day and age.

    I think 15 minutes or so of earned computer time isn't that much and serves to give them some exposure to a necessary skill - it's not like they're sitting on there playing World of Warcraft or something.  There are some wonderul educational games out there. 

    By Kindergarten, computers will be (at least in DS's public school) a "special" along with art, music, library, and PE.  By second grade, they will be expected to produce "reports" (one or two sentences) generated on the computer.

    Don't be so negative about it.  Screen time is going to happen.  I wouldn't rule a school out just because the 4's class has a computer.

  • griffin's preschool class at daycare now has 2 computers. He didn't have any before this year - and i was fine with that - if not happy... i didn't want him to be so "electronic" at a young age... i think at his age now, almost 5, it's appropriate for him to learn more on the coputer so i'm happy his class has them now -but glad they don't use them much.

    so it wouldn't really matter a lot to me - it wouldn't be a deciding factor... there are many other things i care more about for a preK.

    I used to be Goldie_locks_5 but the new nest is so screwed up that I was forced to start over.
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  • There are no computers in our preschool (not a daycare but a stand alone school) and honestly it didn't occur to me.  We are a very tech driven household so all the boys are proficient with iPads at least. 

    The schools we have toured all have computers as a special starting in kindergarten which I do think is important.

    So, all that said, I don't think computers in the classroom are critical in preschool.  But I do think they are important starting in kinder. 

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  • DS1is in public PreK3 nd they do a weekly technology/computers rotation/specials. IMO it is very impt for them learn!

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  • Ds's prek3 class has 4 computers and the prek4 class has 5. They use computers as one of their group rotations along with math, languages and arts. I think that's a perfectly fine and educationally appropriate use of the technology. My guess is that by the time ds is in middle school, most of their curriculum will be delivered to them on some type of portable electronic device and most of their assignments will be completed that way.

    You mentioned tvs in the rooms. I'd want more details about how/when those are used as well. Our school does not have tvs in the rooms, but does have a rolling tv cart they can bring in for a special occassion. Typically the would allow the kids to watch a show on a Friday afternoon (or rainy/snowy day if they couldn't go outside) that corresponded with their current lesson/theme. For example. they watched Charlie Brown Thanksgiving the week of Thanksgiving. It's not something they just have as a typical babysitter for the kids and it's not a permanent fixture in the room.

    At home, we use ipad time as a reward for good behavior. If he is "on green" for behavior all day at school, he is allowed 30 minutes if ipad time to use as he chooses. That means he can watch one of the disney movies we have on it, play games (educational or not), watch PBS, etc. Usually he'll watch one PBS show (they are short shows on the app) and then play a matching, spelling or memory game. It works on both his technology skills as well as memory, alphabet recognition, hand/eye coordination, etc. I have no problem using this type of screen time as a reward. We do not have tv at home so this is his only exposure.

    But there are things I would have an issue with (I take major issue with food rewards) and I would definitely factor it in when choosing a preschool. So ultimately, you'll have to do what you feel comfortable with given all the factors in play.

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  • imageUsedToBeGoldie:

    so it wouldn't really matter a lot to me - it wouldn't be a deciding factor... there are many other things i care more about for a preK.

    This 100%.

    I kinda giggle to myself when I hear people place a huge importance on technology at this age.

    I promise that a kid not exposed to computers on a regular basis until elementary is gonna pick them up fast and definitely not be "behind" in technology.

    I'm kinda proud that mine don't have a clue about how to work an ipad or iphone.  They have to figure out other ways to occupy their time.  When waiting at restaurants they HAVE to color, play with toys or even *** gasp! *** chit chat with the other people at the table!  Patience is a skill that I think many children these days are being denied the chance to learn because of the readily available and portable technology..... but I digress. 

    I would tolerate the computers gladly for the right program that places a TON of emphasis on imaginative play, interpersonal skills development and good quality VERY small student to teacher ratio academic learning.

    I'm not thrilled that one hour plus movies are put on at my kids' school EVER but honestly it's only special events and holidays and the teachers deserve a "fun" day from time to time too so I overlook it in exchange for all the awesome things that their school does very very right IMO.

    Trust your gut.

     

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  • DS, age 3.5, started pre-school this fall and his classroom has a smartboard and an iPad to use. He also goes to the school library once a week, which is full of computers and I'm guessing he gets to go on them. 
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  • DD has a computer lab in her school now and they visit it 1x a week to play learning games.  I like it.  I know that next year she will visit the computer lab in KG and since we don't use the computer a lot at home I think exposure at school is good for her.  At her last school (and DS's) they had a computer class that you paid extra for that I did not opt to enroll them in, though.  There were no computers in their classrooms either.  DS turned out just fine too, but since we don't use the computer a lot at home, his mouse skills are a little slow.  Nothing I'm too concerned about. 
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  • imageKathrynMD:
    DD has them at her school starting in the 3s room.  There are 2 computers and they are basically another center that they use every day/every other day.  I think they are there about 15 minutes at a time.  There is no internet access and its basically just to give them access to a common technology, get them comfortable w/ the mouse, keyboard, etc.  There are maybe 4 or 5 game on there that the kids can choose - they are all educational preschool games - w/ Clifford, Blue's Clues, etc. I don't have a problem with it.  They don't have TVs or any other "screen" time

    This is exactly how our daycare/preschool is set up, except there is only one in the preschool (3 y.o.) room.  And it broke.  So they don't use it anymore.  I'm fine with it either way, we let DD have occasional use of the computer either at home or in the library.  I think it's important that they know how to use a computer but I don't like her having much screen time so we limit it. 

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  • There are some computers at DD's preschool, and we were shown them on the tour of the preschool - however, DD said she's never used them.  That's actually fine with me, I think she gets too much technology at home (iPhone, iPad, TV, etc).
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