I was once treated to a joke about a grandmother and a young boy on his first-ever visit to a public library. With his jaw dropped he gleefully asked, “Grandma! They actually printed all of these?”
Humorous as it may seem, some of us walk around with mixed opinions regarding what would make for the most effective medium for learning in this age of globalization. Many a pundit would ascribe a child’s apparent “lack of creativity” and “laziness” to an overdose of the World Wide Web and a notable lack of traditional sit down, reading time. Yet, responsible use of the internet imparts many useful contributions to a child’s intellectual development. Here are some handy key points for any parent to consider:
1. Adapting to the Modern World These days, Internet literacy is a must to be a progressive individual. Starting a child early will allow him or her not just an edge up, but an easier transition to adapting to a rapidly advancing technological environment. Children raised with it, will come to grow with it.
2. Selection of Materials There is a nearly overwhelming source of educational information available online, as opposed to the books available in school or any leading bookstore. Books of particular interest to your child can be sourced, ironically, online. A caveat though: while contents in most books are pre-screened before publishing, Internet sources should be verified properly, as anyone can make a page on Wikipedia.
3. Pricing If you haven’t been to a bookstore lately, you’ll be in for a surprise. Sturdy toddler books your child will enjoy again and again can cost a small fortune. Of course, you can always recycle them by giving them away, or keep them as a collection, but children can get bored with a material easily in a matter of weeks, so soon enough you’ll find yourself making another purchase, if not borrowing a new book. Older children might find information outdated in months, rendering the book practically useless. The Internet, on the other hand, does not cost as much. More and more, internet service providers (ISPs) become more competitive, which works for us consumers. Pre-paid options abound.
However, nothing beats an easy-to-access reference book when it comes to basic scientific knowledge on, say, astronomy and planets. Then again, remember that scientists ruled out Pluto as a planet in 2006, changing something that all of us were taught in elementary school. And it will take a while before the encyclopedias can be updated and printed.
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