Computer classes

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Updated: 8/12/2003 12:11 am
By at least fourth grade, most schools offer some form of computer use. In private schools, this may happen earlier. To some degree, the amount of training may depend on the funds available for equipment. When terminals are available for everyone, there's no waiting for a turn. The content of computer classes can vary widely, from learning to point, click and type, to studying programming languages like LOGO. Most, however, emphasize using the computer as a tool. During fourth or fifth grade, children may start using junior word-processing programs to write reports. They might be shown how to find research information on the Internet. They'll be taught how to save, print and correct their work. In other cases, the computer is used for drills in subjects like math and spelling. This is done through special software or games, which many children find less judgmental than regular quizzes. Or, children may be given open-ended programs, that let them experiment with drawing and music. But beyond the curriculum, it's important that children simply become acquainted with computers, so they'll be comfortable using them later in life.

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