Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Attitudes of Parents of Preschool Children towards the Frequency and Aspects of the Use of Computers

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

Attitudes of Parents of Preschool Children towards the Frequency and Aspects of the Use of Computers

Article excerpt

Introduction

Using computers in everyday work, life and play day-to-day, is ever-increasing. The Statistical Office of Montenegro in 2011 carried a research on the use of the internet and obtained a result that the percentage of people aged from 16 to 74 who used computers was 53.2%, whereas the percentage of those who never used a computer was 46.8%, 76.6% of them used the internet every day or almost every day, which is a considerable number, and 17.5% of people used the internet at least once a week. These Montenegro statistics are lower with estimates from other developed countries that between 70% and 90% of preschoolers use a computer at home or school (Johnson, 2010). Today, the number of people using the internet is certainly much larger, which is favoured by the data that many municipalities have installed a free Wi-Fi signal for their citizens, and the majority of citizens nowadays use smartphones which without any trouble connect to this signal, and "a window to the world" is open to them in any moment.

In the 21st century, computers have been important influences in children's lives (Calvert, 1999).The computer serves as an important influence in children's lives through the role it can play in experiential learning (Samaras, 1996; Linn & His, 1999). Computer can also function in children lives as a multipurpose tool in helping them to achieve academic goals and become more creative (Bank & King, 1999). Clements & Samara (2003) recommended computer technology as a tool for improving children's learning through exploration, creative problem solving and self guided instruction.

Computers found their way to almost every family. What once was television, nowadays are, certainly, computers. By more frequent use of computers in the family, they become available to children of all ages, including preschool children. Young children are using digital technology devices anytime and anywhere, especially with the invention of smart phones and the replacement of desktop computers with digital tablets (Strader, 2011). In a research (Rideout et al. 1999) which encompassed children and teenagers, and which asked them to answer which media they would carry with them to a lonely island, the majority of them answered: a computer with the internet. There is a constant rise in the number of children who spend a considerable part of their leisure time in front of the computer (Dmitric & Jankovic, 2011). Physically, preschool children with increasing computers use tend to be less physically active, increasing the risks of obesity and musculoskeletal problems (Bremer, 2005). Given that their body is very susceptible different influences, whose effects are manifested in the later period, must be taken into account that some negative effects is not possible or is very difficult possible to fix a later age (Pantovic et al. 2012). There is a huge responsibility of parents: from what age in front of the computer? To what extent? What are the consequences? Large number of parents also expressed concern that eyesight of their children got affected by using computers (Dhingra et al. 2009). To this and similar questions, there are no answers and definitive stances. Surrounded by phones, tablets, smartphones, television, video games in which violence dominates (Provenzo, 1991), children adapt to the new digital surrounding thus developing the knowledge and competences necessary for this. Ina very fast manner, they acquire the rules of computer games, solve problematic situations on the computer, use it for communication, creating, searching, analyzing, learning, and for other activities. Already in early childhood children are fluent in the "digital language" and the language of video games. By using the computer, everything is possible and available to them.

One of the great challenges of the modern society is the development of abilities for generating knowledge and data processing, especially in children (Castells, 2003). …

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