Two Children Playing On The Computer Is Better Than One
There are constant articles about young children and screen time. However, not enough is made about the quality of the screen time. Regarding playing games on the computer or tablet devices, there is one thing that has always struck me in my 15 years as an early educator, two children playing a computer game together is better than one. When one child is using the computer, that is when you are more likely to get a “computer zombie” situation. We all know a computer zombie when we see one. The glazed over eyes fixated on the screen and the inability to notice anything in the real world. There is something that prevents this computer zombie effect. Having two children play a game together and encouraging them to work together. In these situations, children will often talk to each other, point out things they notice, laugh together and generally interact. I am not advocating for letting children sit and play on the computer all day. But, screens are a part of modern life and as researchers like James Paul Gee have found, computer games can be vehicles for learning. If we are going to let children use them, we might as well make computer games a social experience instead of just an individual computer zombie staring at the screen.