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DamaNegra
10-02-2008, 08:40 AM
How young do kids start learning how to use computers and internet? Is it believable that a six year old is already quite internet savvy? Or is it too young?

Barb D
10-02-2008, 08:44 AM
My 8yo can find her way around pretty well, although she pretty much sticks to disneychannel.com and the like. At 6 I think she still needed me to get her to a page before she could play on it. She's definitely an average child, though, so there certainly could be precocious 6yos who could do it. She's also had to compete for computer time with teen siblings (who just this year each got their own computers.)

Adipocere
10-02-2008, 08:49 AM
Kids are becoming more and more computer literate in general every year. Point in case: When my little cousin was about 10 he was already very advanced with computer applications.
Also, as a huge fan of MMORPG's (massively multiplayer online role-playing games), I see tons of little kids playing complex these computer games that require internet. MMO's are probably the most complicated computer games available, and the learning curve is pretty high. It takes hours for an adult to learn the basics of a new MMO, and often weeks of serious playing to fully understand it. I have met children as young as 9 years old playing these games, and though they can't relate socially to most other players on these games due to their age, they still possesed a very functional level of skill and understanding of the games mechanics. I was impressed anyway.

JoNightshade
10-02-2008, 09:36 AM
How young do kids start learning how to use computers and internet? Is it believable that a six year old is already quite internet savvy? Or is it too young?

I don't think it's the internet that's so much a challenge as SPELLING! :) Some six year olds can read and spell quite a lot of simple words, but doing something like googling might be a challenge since it produces a lot of unfamiliar content. But I'm sure lots of parents have computers set up with shortcuts or icons or whatever going to the kids' favorite sites. From what I've seen, a lot of little kids get stuck on one site that they always like to visit. There's something called Webkinz (http://www.webkinz.com/us_en/), and these two kids my mom babysits are addicted to it. The kids are... seven and four, I think. The four year old mainly watches, but the seven year old can do everything herself.

Mr Flibble
10-02-2008, 04:28 PM
Is it believable that a six year old is already quite internet savvy? Or is it too young?

My kids were pretty good at 6 ( although hubby is in IT, that might make a difference). Spelling while googling is an issue, and at that age they like to stick to one or two sites. We have quite severe restrictions on what they can and can't go to.

Then again one of my customers was telling me how his ten year old had been downloading porn...

WendyNYC
10-02-2008, 04:39 PM
They have computer classes in my kids' school starting in K (although they use specific programs--they don't just surf the net.) I agree that to navigate the internet, a 6-year-old needs to be able to read and spell.

My 6-year-old knows how to turn the computer on and get to the sites I've bookmarked for her, and she knows how to start up the games on CDs. I'm sure if I allowed her to look around by herself, she could do it. She can read.

Perks
10-02-2008, 04:42 PM
My daughter is nearly six and can navigate happily through some preset pages. She knows how to log into her favorite sites, but doesn't know how to use search engines or find sites that aren't in her little folder on the desktop.

DamaNegra
10-02-2008, 05:09 PM
Thanks, everyone! I remember being quite skilled at using a computer at 8 years old (and I thought that, by cheating and telling my age was 13, I would look much, much older, lol!!), but before that our family computer had no internet, so I've no idea.

Thank you so much for your answers!

Perks
10-02-2008, 05:11 PM
Yeah, and the difference between six and eight is comparable to the difference between twenty and thirty. Dog years and little kid years - amazing.

Alpha Echo
10-02-2008, 05:11 PM
My little brother is 6 years old. He doesn't navigate on his own - my mom will put up a website that has games on it or something, like the Disney website, and he'll navigate from there. Totally believable. He knows how to play his games and go from one game to another.

Fern
10-02-2008, 06:20 PM
When my kids were 5/6ish they could turn the computer on and insert their CD's and get to the game they wanted without help from me. Once we got internet service (probably ages 6 & 8 by then) they adapted quickly but pretty much kept to the trails of what they found interesting (kiddie games).

heyjude
10-02-2008, 08:59 PM
My 5 yo daughter can Google simple things, play games, etc. She reads very well. Smart kid. My 3 yo barely knows his name. He will not be as computer-savvy. Every kid is different.

jannawrites
10-02-2008, 09:26 PM
My daughter is 5, though she started playing online games (playhousedisney.com, barbie.com, and the like) at 4. I have to get her to the right place, but then she navigates around the sites wonderfully.

jennifer75
10-02-2008, 09:29 PM
How young do kids start learning how to use computers and internet? Is it believable that a six year old is already quite internet savvy? Or is it too young?

My son is 3 years old in this picture.

http://i35.tinypic.com/97nv4l.jpg

Today, he's 6 and a half, completely aware of how a mouse works and works online with Sesame Street Org and PBS Kids ..... does he know what an http is? No, but he can work on the computer, with internet. He knows double clicks from right clicks, etc.

jennifer75
10-02-2008, 09:32 PM
They have computer classes in my kids' school starting in K (although they use specific programs--they don't just surf the net.) I agree that to navigate the internet, a 6-year-old needs to be able to read and spell.

My 6-year-old knows how to turn the computer on and get to the sites I've bookmarked for her, and she knows how to start up the games on CDs. I'm sure if I allowed her to look around by herself, she could do it. She can read.

Yup, computers in Kindergarten. Shoot they had them in Preschool now that I think about it.

Tsu Dho Nimh
10-04-2008, 03:54 AM
One of my nephews was playing Sim City (classic) when he was just under 4.

He had no strategy, he just loaded a city plan and bulldozed until he ran out of money, but he could load the game, type in the security code, pick a city and start the bulldozer. He learned by watching his older siblings.

Cranky
10-04-2008, 04:13 AM
My youngest has been using a computer since he was about 2 1/2. He's almost three and half now. The main thing holding him back (besides me, natch, lol) is the fact that he can't yet spell more than a few small words. Well, that and a few bigger ones, but still.

He knows how to turn on the computer, use the mouse to point and click, and also the scroller. He knows which pages I've bookmarked are his, and he can open up the "Favorites", scroll down, find them and click on the links to get them.

DamaNegra
10-04-2008, 11:35 PM
Thanks, everyone!

I suck at knowing little kids. Heck, I can't tell a 5yo apart from a 9yo.... I'm struggling a lot with this story because I feel my 5yos are not believable... even if they're supposed to be 'child prodigies'.

jennifer75
10-04-2008, 11:37 PM
Thanks, everyone!

I suck at knowing little kids. Heck, I can't tell a 5yo apart from a 9yo.... I'm struggling a lot with this story because I feel my 5yos are not believable... even if they're supposed to be 'child prodigies'.

I've got a 6 year old boy, feel free to ask any questions you need answers for. ;) Heck, I may just send him your way...for a day or ten.

ManyAk
10-04-2008, 11:52 PM
I'm 17 years old, but I'm still surprised at how young kids learn those things. It really is part of their life now, they just can't grow up without the internet.

I know that my sister was about 10 years old when she started using MSN Messenger and the so-called blogs and MySpace thingies. Jesus.