Choose The Right Equipment For Your Child

June 7th, 2010 in .Blogs .Home .Tech
Mrs Mario

As your child marches through school they’re going to be thrust head first into the wonderful world of computing. The National Curriculum in ICT may be about to undergo radical changes but that only means that it is to become an inherent part of the entire syllabus as opposed to one small part.

Your children are going to be learning all about how computers work, how to get the most out of the internet and so much more, and this is all going to mean that they will need a computer to get in some much needed practise.

Many people don’t have computers at home, nor do they have massive budgets set aside for specialised computer equipment for their kids. This doesn’t mean that their children are going to get the short end of the stick, however, as there are plenty of cost effective choices out there.

Before you dive into a technology spending spree, though, there are some things you need to consider. Children are even more susceptible to posture issues than adults and so you really need to ensure that whatever workspace you create for them encourages good posture.

Ensure that the desk and chair you set up for them let them place their feet on the floor with their arms outstretched at a 90 degree angle (or thereabouts) while using the mouse and keyboard. There are quite a few workstation options available for kids on the net, but you can really do this for minimum expense by adjusting the chair and desk heights as you go using things like footstools or pillows.

Many of us have to work with space constraints at home so the last thing you need is a massive computer and desk setup looming over everybody in the lounge. Now, I say lounge because it is recommended by the experts that you keep a child’s computer in visual range so you can regularly monitor what they are doing while they are online.

While this may not necessarily be required for the younger children, you are likely to be sitting with them already, older children will be able to manage on their own and you need to ensure they are safe at all times.

Which brings us back to space constraints…Many companies have created goodies specifically for kids that don’t take up a lot of space and that fit their needs perfectly. One such device is the lovely ASUS EePC 1001PQ.

The 1001PQ includes the latest Intel ATOM N450 processor running with a 160GB hard drive, 1GB RAM, Wi-Fi, Windows 7 and a 10.1” LCD LED screen. Kids can choose between yellow and black or purple and black and it has a delightful coloured palm rest that they’ll love.

Of course, the Eee PC range is known for its size. Small, chic and compact, this little netbook for kids will fit neatly into most spaces and is easy enough for them to carry around as they get older, or to take away on holiday. Yes, holiday! How else can parents get some downtime if the kids can’t chill out with their netbooks for a while.

I do recommend that you invest in a mouse for this setup at first. Younger children will struggle with the pad and they won’t learn the essential mouse skills they’ll need for school. There are miniature mice designed specifically for kids available on the market right now.

As with TV, limit the amount of time your children spend online and set boundaries according to their age. Most experts suggest that children from three to five are only given 15 to 30 minutes a session and that those sessions are spread out across seven days. How you structure these sessions is ultimately down to you.

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