The AP reports:
Before they can even read, almost one in four children in nursery school is learning a skill that even some adults have yet to master: using the Internet. Some 23 percent of children in nursery school — kids age 3, 4 or 5 — have gone online, according to the Education Department. By kindergarten, 32 percent have used the Internet, typically under adult supervision.
Can you believe that? What are kids that age looking at on the Internet? I have taken Maggie to look at things on Nick Jr., but I didn’t really think there was much out there for the under-5 set. Maybe I’ve been shortsighted, though. I don’t see why I couldn’t let Maggie dictate e-mails to relatives. They’d love it, and I’ll bet she’d like the replies.
I didn’t go online until my twenties, because there basically wasn’t any “online” to go to until then, but my own children won’t remember life without the Internet. In some ways, I find, as a teacher, that students don’t really know how to use print sources and become quickly frustrated if they don’t find what they’re looking for. In some cases, it doesn’t occur to them to consult a book! I worry that this trend could continue. The more dependent we seem to become on technology, the more enslaved we become to it. Think about this: your ancestors 150 years ago got by just fine without electricity and running water. I think this kind of technological progress is interesting, and I think it is good, but I hope it doesn’t prevent students from being able to use books.