I teach after school at a local elementary school in my area. This week was the children’s first week back after Christmas break, and yesterday afternoon by class started to tell me about all of the Christmas presents they received.
Once child had gotten a special Barbie they wanted, another a keyboard although she assured me her real instrument is the drums. Going around the circle everyone had received typical elementary school gifts. When we got to the last child in the room however, he matter of factly told everyone he received a laptop for Christmas.
A laptop? Really?
I asked a few questions, and apparently the child received his own personal brand new Dell laptop for Christmas. His family has Wi-Fi set up, and he was excited about now being able to access the internet from anywhere in the house. He’s even tested the wi-fi limits and done some web surfing outside.
This child is probably… 10 years old. While I think it’s important for children to have some decent understanding of computers at this age, I hardly think I would be buying my 10 year old a brand new laptop for Christmas. Better yet, I don’t think I would let my 10 year old, or 16 year old for that matter, have complete free unsupervised reign over the internet as this child claims to.
What do you think is an appropriate age to give a computer as a gift?
In my mind it has always been a high school, or even a going off to college gift. I don’t think I could in any way justify purchasing a brand new laptop for a ten year old. Maybe, I would consider giving a child that age a computer loaded with educational software, but I would never give them complete wireless access to the internet. That just seems like a bad idea.
What do you think?