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Topic # 157482 2-Dec-2014 16:49
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Hi

I have soon-to-be 5 year old twins. They are surrounded by school mates who have tablets and the odd smart phone and this comes up in conversation quite often. I think they're too young for this for a lot of reasons that are off-topic to this off-topic post. Much to my dismay, the school they are going to next year has tablets and they will be allowed to spend x hours a week on a tablet. This is pretty much the case for most schools if not now, then sooner than free school lunches.

I would like to hear from parents of small kids how they are doing this at home?

I have heard that recent versions of Android support user profiles and that those user profiles can be locked down (parent mode). I am aware PCs can be locked down, but I'm not particularly happy with two more PCs in the house (and they're going to want their own). Does this parental thing work, is it safe? Is a PC the way to go? What about an oldish laptop that has been refurbed?

Has anybody tried various Linux for Education distributions like EduBuntu?

Your feedback, what you did right or wrong would be most helpful. I have a small budget for this, looking at refurbed laptops, entry level tablets or refurbed PCs. Internet is not required but a filtered Internet would be neat if I thought for a moment I could trust it, educational content is prime, though.

Thanks


Gund

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  Reply # 1187231 2-Dec-2014 16:54
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Dont give them a Thompson tablet from Warehouse Stationery 




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  Reply # 1187261 2-Dec-2014 17:40
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I got my 3 year old an Asus 8" Tab, great value, good display, good sound, good performance. She loves it.

We have loaded it with educational games (drawing letters, colouring in, memory games, shape games) along with her favorite cartoons to keep her occupied at social events.

 

The occasional game is also allowed (Strawberry shortcake baking is fun)

 


I think they have their place, and as long as they are not glued 24/7 they can be a valuable tool in introducing them to technology.

Don't forget mouse skills on the computer as well.

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  Reply # 1187264 2-Dec-2014 17:47
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Like all things in todays society children need guidelines and routines.  I teach Computer skills for 5yr olds through to year 8 students.  There are many advantages of using this technology early in the developing of Language,
Maths and Reading skills.( Providing you select the apps they are using wisely) Children learn to concentrate in this area for longer periods of time and this is especially noticeable for children who have poor concentration skills. Games do have a place but like our school we do not allow any brutal fighting killing type games.
Enquire at your school as to which are good apps whether they use PC Apple or Android. Most apps for children this age in the PC world are free (if you are Using Windows 8.1)  Apple also have many free apps. They can also be a very creative tool in the Art curriculum (Music Painting etc) You need to control how much time they spend on the devices using them as a reward and withdrawal of privileges. As they get older they need to be guided and protected away from the social media sites so constant checks are needed by caring parents which most of us are.
Hope this helps.


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  Reply # 1187371 2-Dec-2014 19:34
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There is this brilliant technology called "Outdoors", it has "Things to do", and your "Friends" are there kicking a ball, playing tag, etc etc etc and for thousands of years has been shown to be the ideal thing for kids.



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  Reply # 1187459 2-Dec-2014 21:11
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The Microsoft solution is Family Safety.  You can lock down a childs login to blacklist or whitelist websites, blacklist or whitelist apps, use age rating for store app access etc.  There is a 'request access' function which takes a parent password at point, or sends request for later approval.  You get weekly reports of activity, you can also limit hours online.  It also works across multiple devices.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/set-up-family-safety#set-up-family-safety=windows-8



There are also a bunch of cheap windows tablets on the way, like the new HP Stream 7 which was on sale for just US$99 in US.




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  Reply # 1187495 2-Dec-2014 21:43
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My youngest is five, she has access to and can use various devices (MacBook, Surface RT, iPod, Fire TV) at home, plus iPads at school.  I think kids need to be kids and play, they need to colour in with crayons, felts, need to cut things out etc.  There is plenty of time for them to learn this stuff

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  Reply # 1187512 2-Dec-2014 21:54
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My 5 year old has had his own tablet since 3, and also gets access to our HTPC for doing a variety of learning games and activities, as well as watching youtube videos etc. Both these have been a massive positive influence on his learning and education, and it's great that he can keep himself quiet for an hour while learning maths or practicing his reading. We do not use any sort of filtering, content restrictions etc, we just keep an eye on what he's doing - of course anything that is payment oriented (playstore on the tablet for example) is password/pin restricted. There still needs to be a balance with other activities, of course, like physical play, outdoor activities etc.




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  Reply # 1187531 2-Dec-2014 22:32
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sir1963: There is this brilliant technology called "Outdoors", it has "Things to do", and your "Friends" are there kicking a ball, playing tag, etc etc etc and for thousands of years has been shown to be the ideal thing for kids.




No, I checked, there are no other kids out there, they all have tablets.

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  Reply # 1187612 3-Dec-2014 07:26
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Home school them :)





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  Reply # 1187633 3-Dec-2014 08:44
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Both my kids (7 and just about 5) have adopted technology early on, primarily for entertainment (games, movies, Youtube etc) but the eldest has used Google at home for researching information things theyre talking about in class (and then writing small essays about it even though she hasnt been asked to) and more recently been using Studyladder. She has now just been given her own laptop (old chunky thing).

The youngest loves taking photos with my phone or the tablet, and is happy to sit down with YouTube on the screen and find her way around but Google is still beyond her grasp (writing/comprehension still not quite there due to unusual autistic condition).

I limit the access on the PC's with Family Safety and the phone and tablet are only used by the kids when we're out and about.

Letting them use technology isn't a bad thing because its everywhere, but it does have to be monitored and still encourage them to get outside with friends rather than just chasing their friends around in Minecraft all day ;) 

Getting a family dog can be a great way of getting the kids outside, they love throwing things for him and chasing him around. (black lab, most gentle and obedient dog Ive known)





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  Reply # 1187646 3-Dec-2014 08:55
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gundar:
sir1963: There is this brilliant technology called "Outdoors", it has "Things to do", and your "Friends" are there kicking a ball, playing tag, etc etc etc and for thousands of years has been shown to be the ideal thing for kids.




No, I checked, there are no other kids out there, they all have tablets.


smile Haha. 
We got a tablet and loaded it up with games for our 3 year old, drawing things etc. Just a Galaxy tab 2 which was on special. She won't use it though. She just prefers to be outside doing things. Even when we put movies on she likes and take it with us when going out, she would rather play and talk to grown ups rather than using the tablet. I think the difference is she doesn't really have friends who have tech like that. Later on, I will worry about it again, but would look for something we can put profiles on so she only has access to what we allow. Something android 4.4+ or windows 8.1+ based should do the trick, I don't know whether Apple has the same thing build in. 




Try Vultr using this link and get us both some credit:

 

http://www.vultr.com/?ref=7033587-3B


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  Reply # 1187688 3-Dec-2014 09:47
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Numbershark and Wordshark on second-hand Apple laptops.




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  Reply # 1187761 3-Dec-2014 10:37
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gundar:

I have heard that recent versions of Android support user profiles and that those user profiles can be locked down (parent mode). I am aware PCs can be locked down, but I'm not particularly happy with two more PCs in the house (and they're going to want their own). Does this parental thing work, is it safe? Is a PC the way to go? What about an oldish laptop that has been refurbed?

Has anybody tried various Linux for Education distributions like EduBuntu?



I would prefer openSUSE Education to Edubuntu for older machines. I've found that Unity sucks up resources and it's not really easy to switch desktops (hence the popularity of alternative desktop version of Ubuntu like Kubuntu and Xbuntu and Lubuntu - that's right, you have to have a whole new distro to get a new desktop). OpenSUSE is backed by a whole bunch of repositories and uses RPM, so there's interoperability between openSUSE, CentOS and Fedora.

I am a huge fan of Fedora (all my workstations and the server in beta), and they do an educational spin, but apparently the openSUSE Education support is far superior, because openSUSE Education is officially backed by SUSE. Having said that, being a user of the Fedora education spin means you could probably be a more active contributor, if you felt like you wanted to use your experiences with your kids to improve Fedora. The Fedora community as a whole encourages participation, but it has that heavy emphasis on being an open source project, whereas openSUSE can probably just get things done.

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  Reply # 1187946 3-Dec-2014 14:14
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A tablet can be a good learning tool but its only a tool and shouldn't be treated as the holy grail to your kids success. My question is what would you like to see your kids get out of it rather than just following the crowd.





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  Reply # 1187958 3-Dec-2014 14:23
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BTR: A tablet can be a good learning tool but its only a tool and shouldn't be treated as the holy grail to your kids success. My question is what would you like to see your kids get out of it rather than just following the crowd.



I totally agree. There won't be any games on there that are games only, but I'm okay with controlled access to fun learning. The content I am looking for is the typical preschool stuff for now - colours, shapes, geometry, reading, writing and math. I had a look at the SuSE link above and found it to be close to what I had in mind, so I will setup an old PC with USB boot to that SUSE Life and see what I get.

Thanks all for your contributions, you are all right, outside is a great place to be and my kids get a lot of that but I also need to balance the fun with learning and it think e-learning will help me get them started.

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