Here is a somewhat interesting topic: how do you as a parent introduce your child to computers and technology? Let me preface this by saying that I have no children, and I don’t plan having any for quite some time. The way it worked in my family (and I think the way it works in most families) is that kids figure out technology on their own, and then they teach it to the parents. My dad is pretty good with hardware and electronics so he could probably build a computer given the right parts, a decent manual and enough time to figure it out. Using that computer on the other hand is a whole other ballpark.
So kids learn technology in a somewhat chaotic, random manner. Or rather, those who don’t exhibit the geeky drive for tinkering and learning figure it out just enough to get by. And thus we have a whole generation of people who can use MySpace, webmail email of some sort, Facebook, p2p, iTunes and not much else. They end up in the same boat as their parents, not knowing enough about technology to teach their kids – so they more or less let them figure it out on their own.
This is not the case for us. I assume that most people who read my ramblings here share my passion for technology at least for the most part. We are in the unique position of providing a structured, well rounded technology experience for our children. We can expose them to different systems, different computing paradigms, and instill strong electronic security and privacy related instincts. So even if they choose not to follow us into the science and/or technology field, they at least won’t be lusers and noobs.
For example, I would love to raise a child in an operating system agnostic environment. The kid could be growing up using 3 or 4 major operating systems simultaneously gaining appreciation for all of them, and forming informed opinions about them. I don’t care if they develop strong affinity for windows, as long as they have spent equal amount of time on linux and unix based systems.
What I hate the most is the annoying Windows user who have never used anything other than WinXP, never heard about unix and yet he will claim that he hates Macs because they are stupid. I don’t want my kid to be that guy. Hell, I don’t want your kid to be that guy either.
I like to think that parents have a huge influence on your values – especially the ones instilled early on. If we start from a very early age we might have a chance to produce individuals who not only have strong sense of morality, but also are religious about backups, privacy and encryption.
Has anyone ever tried doing that? Did it work? Have it failed? Is it possible to raise a child to be competent and cluefull even if they do not show special interest in technology? Or is this just wishful thinking on my part?
[tags]education, children, technology, security, backups, os[/tags]