You may think you deserve Parent Of The Year for looking to buy your child a desktop computer for home use.
But allow me to let you in on a few trends in technology that you should be aware of before you rush in and rush out to buy the wrong sort of thing.
Whilst desktops were once all the rage, and considered more powerful than laptops or mobile devices, things have evolved considerably.
Sure, desktop computers and laptops are cheaper than they have ever been, but the fact is, it is likely that your child may never own a desktop computer, let alone a laptop computer at the rate of which technology is developing.
You see at schools around Australia, iPads and other mobile devices are being handed out as standard issue, and the doors of computer labs as we know it are closing for good.
Things are moving away from going to a set ‘computer class’ each week – rather technology is being integrated into every day life in the classroom. Just ask your child what they did at school this week and whether they used an iPad or mobile device at any point. If they did, ask them what they did on it. Their answers may surprise you.
With this in mind, as a parent, the best you can do is take a similar approach at home by purchasing a mobile device such as an iPad or other tablet, as opposed to a desktop or laptop computer.
Whilst some kids will be more interested in using technology than others, the great thing about iPads and mobile devices is they are driven by apps that are either free, or cheap and which are easy to upgrade and change. Apps range from interactive games to learning activities for every age group and even those with disabilities.
Whether your little one is into princesses or pirates, surfing or sewing, marine studies or maths, there is bound to be learning activities to put on the device that will appeal to the type of child you have, and their current ability level.
Another great benefit of purchasing a mobile device as opposed to a desktop or laptop computer is they are much easier to take with you i.e. in the car, on holiday or on other outings. Having said this, they should not of course become an electronic baby sitter, and you’ll have to keep an eye on the ratio of entertainment to educational activities your child is using the device for.
The best you can do as a parent is buy the right device and understand that you may need to upgrade in the future too. This is not after all a calculator that will last your child throughout high school, as was once the case. Embrace technology. Understand it is not going away and you will be supporting your child in their learning and love of technology.