A is for Amazon: How young can you start a child learning the Web?

If we're going to be educating school children, college students, and adult learners in the realm of Web 2.0, is it a good idea to introduce some of the concepts of the web to children as a soon as they're learning their ABC?

My young son, who's only 3, has been watching me and the rest of the family going on the internet at home, when we've been on Google and loads of other websites over the last few months. Over that time, he's taught himself to load Firefox (double-clicking the icon), get on to Youtube (by typing "y" in the address bar), and selects and adds videos from and to his own playlist. He's mad on fires and even typed in the word "fire" in the search box all by himself. He can get himself onto Google Images, and knows where the bookmarks are on Firefox so he can get himself onto other sites. He knows how to go backwards and forewards in a web browser.

Obviously he doesn't go on the computer unsupervised, but he's aware of things that we may consider unsuitable - if he comes across a video on Youtube that we've previously said isn't suitable for him, he'll say that he's not allowed on it until he's older. Alongside "A is for Apple", he's learning that "A" is also for "Amazon" and that you can buy books on the internet as well as in shops.

It seems to me that children need to know the language of the internet, so why not let it become part of their own language instead?

Tags: children, internet, language, school, web

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You were right with A is for Apple of course Tim!
He sounds like a digital native already.

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