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We have four computers in our reception unit. They have always been popular and have always been in constant use. The children have got very good at logging on and choosing the programmes they want for themselves - they are very independent on them. This is all great and we have no problem with this. A month or so a go one of the children asked if they could go on to the cbeebies website so I showed him what to do, soon all the computers had it on. However this has created an obsession on the computer. We hoped that after a few weeks the novelty might wear off but yesterday, a boy who is normally very well behaved scratched another child over the computer. We are also aware that there are some children that do very little other than go on the computer or watch other children on the computer unless they are asked to do an adult directed activity.

 

We have been talking about possible solutions. Other members of staff have said that there could be a tick sheet and once they've had their turn for the day that's it someone else suggested that different groups have allotted times to go on them but we felt those suggestions go against continuous provision. We turned the computers off at the power yesterday and told them that they were broken, the children accepted this, and the atmosphere was so much quieter. Is it okay to have days without them? We thought it may encourage those children who do nothing else to try and explore other areas as when they're on the computer they are not really playing, using their imagination etc...

 

We also thought that we may introduce having a programme for the day but is that being too prescriptive? How do other people use their computers? We really would appreciate any ideas as it's driving us mad!

 

Thanks

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We have used the switch off, oh it's broken tactic too! I think if you have used the activity to look at sharing etc as well as it's primary purpose and still the atmosphere is not healthy then it is acceptable. That said I am very aware that our children have a lot of computer access at home too so they are not missing out on anything. If it is different for your childrenmaybe another tactic is needed so they can still have access. We are always told that ICT is not only computers so maybe you could use something else for this for a while and limit the computer access to encourage the exploration of other activities.

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we have exactly the same problem, can you disconnect the internet?

 

so we have an IT table some days we put the computor out other days we put cause and effect toys other days there might be calucualators phones and play computor

 

 

I think provided there is an element of ICT then I dont think it has to be a computor every time?

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We offer ours every day, but we do limit time on there. We have 3 computers and a laptop, they are all in the same area. There are 4 chairs set out and if you want to use the computer you have to be sitting on one of the chairs, no one standing around and watching as there isn't enough space between them. When the children go on there is a sand timer on each and it is turned over at the start of their turn, it runs for 15 minutes, it is then someone elses turn. On the computers we have 12 different games and a painting programme. On the laptop there is over 50 games and a painting programme. They are not linked to the internet though. We also have loads of other ICT resources indoor and out. As we have up to 40 children in a session we don't have time for everyone to go on the computer, but that isn't a problem as not everyone wants to go on every day!! :o

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I have a group of boys who are obsessed with the computers - no fights yet fortunately, and they are happy to pull up extra chairs, which I don't really mind because they do tend to take turns (usually!) and seem to enjoy all being there together, but if I let them they would play on them ALL day (apart from being outside which they also like). They gravitate towards each morning when they arrive, and after a while that's it - and I ban them for the rest of the day for those who have already used them - have had some dirty looks but they then do choose and enjoy other activities, which they would otherwise ignore.

 

My greatest frustration with it is that whatever it is started on (program-wise), they select whatever they want but seem to open several screens at once through click-happiness - and it drives me MAD!!!! I am forever having to end task for about 9 screens becuase the computer has become overloaded - and no matter how many times I say they should only have ONE screen open they don't! I don't think they are doing it on purpose but arrrrgghhhh!!

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I don't think there is anything wrong with restricting the amount of time children spend on computers. In fact, I think it's an essential lesson for them. Injuries, such as RSI and eye strain, are real problems. There has not been much research into the effects on children, but many experts are warning that children of today may be damaging their bodies and that the extent of this won't be discovered until they are adults. I think that it is a good idea to teach children about possible problems and how they can avoid these injuries through sensible computer usage. :o

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Thank you for all your replies. It just confirms what I thought really. I like the idea of having a timer at each computer - we'll look into getting some I think. We also won't worry about having computer free days (cbeebies certainly won't be allowed) - we have a variety of other ICT things as well as the IWB so it's not as if they're not using ICT everyday. It will certainly make some of them use their imaginative part of their brain a bit more. We've been looking at our EYFSP and realised we had not observed certain children doing anything other than than the computer or outside unless it was adult directed, therefore we needed to take action!!! Thanks again - it good to hear it's not just a problem in our school :o

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Hi

We're a LEA prschool and we have 2 computers for the children to use. We have 20 approx each day and they all self register and use a turn timer. Each child gets a 15 minute slot each, using a large 15min purple timer (by each computer).

If there is someone/child on a computer that they want to use, they book there slot using their name cards on a velcor board hung on the computer desk. Once the other child has had their go the next goes on and the one that finishes puts their name back on the registration board. They can re register if they choose but they have to put name card back first. It give another child an oppourtunity to put their name back when the child that has been having a go is returning their name. Sorry for babbeling!!! but you get the gest

 

Kat

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Hi

We're a LEA prschool and we have 2 computers for the children to use. We have 20 approx each day and they all self register and use a turn timer. Each child gets a 15 minute slot each, using a large 15min purple timer (by each computer).

If there is someone/child on a computer that they want to use, they book there slot using their name cards on a velcor board hung on the computer desk. Once the other child has had their go the next goes on and the one that finishes puts their name back on the registration board. They can re register if they choose but they have to put name card back first. It give another child an oppourtunity to put their name back when the child that has been having a go is returning their name. Sorry for babbeling!!! but you get the gest

 

Kat

 

Sounds like a good idea - thanks :o

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We do have the large egg timers for ours but I have to say that at the moment thit is turned off for the same reasons as have been said, some children will just sit there all session and they are also the ones who have them at home along witrh games consoles etc. I am a great believer that you can't beat a good set of bricks for all areas of the curriculum and there is plenty of time to use computers but the powers that be would not agree.

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We have one computer for our preschool.

 

With full day care and sessional children we have about 36 children per day. We have a wide variety of programs - painting, drawing, plus educational video clips (such as chicks hatching) as well as educational games, so that the children are aware that the computer has other uses other than just for playing games. We also use laptops for our observations, planning and learning journeys, etc. so that children see us using computers on a daily basis.

 

We have three chairs in front of the computer and children can only be at the computer if they sit on a chair. We draw up a list of the children each day and they are ticked off when they have had their turn.

 

Each child has 5 minutes with the mouse and when they have had their turn they go and play and the next child on the list takes their position. The 'spare chair' is for the child who is 3rd on the list. Thus every child gets 15 minutes in front of the computer, 10 minutes watching (and advising!) and 5 minutes with the mouse per day. Sounds a bit complicated on paper but most of our 3/4 years olds undersand the system well and self regulate. It works well for us and is excellent for teaching the children to take turns, consider others and use "time related words" etc.

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