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Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the also-struggle-with-concept-of-hopscotch dept.

Education 355

SpankiMonki sends this news from The Guardian: "Children are arriving at nursery school able to 'swipe a screen' but lack the manipulative skills to play with building blocks, teachers have warned. They fear that children are being given tablets to use 'as a replacement for contact time with the parent' and say such habits are hindering progress at school. Addressing the Association of Teachers and Lecturers conference in Manchester on Tuesday, Colin Kinney said excessive use of technology damages concentration and causes behavioural problems such as irritability and a lack of control."

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most lego's are a rip off (-1, Troll)

alen (225700) | about 8 months ago | (#46770939)

$40 for a set you build one time that takes an hour or so

Re:most lego's are a rip off (1)

IgnitusBoyone (840214) | about 8 months ago | (#46770979)

We are talking about little kids. You tend to get them the Big Blocks instead. They come in a bucket and you use them to build random square objects. Sets for older kids tend to be more detailed and well beyond the scope.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (3, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 8 months ago | (#46771425)

We are talking about little kids. You tend to get them the Big Blocks instead.

... because little kids don't have the dexterity to use regular Legos. The reason two year old kids can use an iPad and aren't ready for standard Legos is because the latter requires more skill. TFA claims claims that exposing kids to technology is causing our civilization to spiral down the drain, but provides no evidence whatsoever, other than anecdotes and conjecture.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (4, Insightful)

profplump (309017) | about 8 months ago | (#46771483)

It also fails to acknowledge that LEGO is itself technology -- relatively modern, high technology in the grand scheme of humanity -- or provide any meaningful distinction between "good" technologies like verbal language and "bad" technologies like iPads.

As with virtually all "kids these days" rants it's nothing more than an attempt to relive the past by forcing it on today's young people.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771479)

There are three sizes, I think. The standard LEGO size, the Duplo size, and the Mega-block size. The last one is HUGE, and it's so big I'm not sure I see a point. My experience so far says they can hold and manipulate the Duplo by the time they are 18 months. Not expertly, but enough to put some pieces togethera, and there's nothing wrong with a little challenge. Plus, Duplo are far more reasonable to merge with the small LEGO size when they graduate, while Mega Block size are so big they're basically unrelated.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (0)

rhodium_mir (2876919) | about 8 months ago | (#46771681)

The last one is HUGE, and it's so big I'm not sure I see a point.

The purpose is to sell you three sets of LEGOs rather than just two.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 8 months ago | (#46770995)

Children arriving at nursery school don't need a $40 set to be building for an hour.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771033)

I didn't know that the bricks could only be used once, and in one specific order.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (4, Funny)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 8 months ago | (#46771071)

It because he uses the kragle.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771269)

Well you're supposed to glue them together as you build... right? Or am I doing it wrong...?

Assemble once and KRAzyGLuE? Doing it wrong. (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | about 8 months ago | (#46771387)

You're doing it wrong. LEGO kits are intended to be assembled into a model, then disassembled and reassembled into a different model. That's why the enclosed instruction book shows how to build more than one model. For a dramatization of how wrong you're doing it, go see The LEGO Movie.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (5, Insightful)

Kielistic (1273232) | about 8 months ago | (#46771047)

Allow me to blow your mind. Those same pieces can be used to build what ever you can imagine. Then they can be taken apart and used to build something totally different. The instructions are only a suggestion.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (5, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 8 months ago | (#46771209)

Reminds me of one of the most frustrating realizations of my life. When I was a kid, I was a big fan of Lego. I often asked for lego as gifts but rarely got any.

As an adult, I found out why. My mom asked me what a little boy in the family might want as a gift. I asked what he was into, and one of the things was Lego. Apparently he was a big fan too.

"Then you can't go wrong with more Lego," I said.

My mom replies "But he already has Lego."

*GIANT FUCKING FACEPALM*

Now it all made sense :-(

Specialized Pieces (3, Interesting)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 8 months ago | (#46771223)

Those same pieces can be used to build what ever you can imagine.

No so easily nowadays. Lego comes with huge numbers of very specialized pieces which are taylor made for that particular model. You can get the basic bricks but most Lego today is aimed at building one model and then playing with it rather than getting a pile of bricks and letting your imagination run wild.

There is one exception though: Mindstorms! This is simply brilliant and the new EV3 version even runs Linux! It's one of the few toys that are around today that I really wish I had been available when I was a kid.

Re:Specialized Pieces (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771457)

Can't remember who to attribute it to, so I'll plagiarize and misquote.

"When I was a kid, a Lego castle was a big box full of tiny pieces and a 300 page instruction manual showing how to piece together a castle that looked like the one on the box. Now a Lego castle consists of one big castle-shaped piece and a 5 page instruction booklet about where to put the other 20 decorations so that it looks like the one on the box."

Re:Specialized Pieces (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771465)

Is Taylor a tailor?

Re:Specialized Pieces (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771517)

Those specialized shapes make it so you can make even bigger and better creations. Do not let the instruction limit your imagination.
Also you can purchase from Lego.com tones of bricks in bulk including specialty shapes and a bunch of other neat stuff.

Captcha: combines

Re:most lego's are a rip off (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 8 months ago | (#46771271)

But they can't anymore. It used to be that way, but now that all the lego toys are tie-ins with Star Wars or the Lord of the Rings or something, almost all the pieces are specially molded "bricks" that really only make sense in the context of whatever the kit is. You can't really use such pieces for anything more than what they were designed for.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (1)

operagost (62405) | about 8 months ago | (#46771625)

Seriously. I didn't like LEGO much as a kit, but I had a Robotix kit, and once I'd built some of the models I started modifying them as I liked. Once I was bored with that I just started designing my own robots. That's the way it works.

Re:most lego=='===s ????? are a rip off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771063)

You left out the thing that belongs to a lego.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 8 months ago | (#46771067)

at which point, all combinations of blocks and arrangements have been exhausted, the blocks thoughoughly used-up and worn-out, the $40 set must be tossed into the garbage.

congrats. you "beat" legos.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 8 months ago | (#46771167)

That sounds like a fun computation problem. (or maybe a 'Redmond-style' job interview question)

You have 2 2x8 lego bricks, how many ways can they be put together?

How about 3?

4?

Re:most lego's are a rip off (1)

PIBM (588930) | about 8 months ago | (#46771315)

Even if we cut off the symetries, there`s an infinite number of ways that you can assemble them. Don`t believe me ? Hehe let`s start from the beginning ..

Lets say, we use either as the bottom one, but that`s considered symetric, so we only look as a fixed bottom one and another to attach to. You could put exactly over it, then you could move up on the side for a total of 8 positions. Either side are symetric. Then, you could move it to the side by one, and repeat. You could also move it to the other side, but that`s symetric. And the symetry of moving on the other side and off by -1 is ignored too. So, in the same axis, we have 16 non-symetric positions.

Now, they could be installed centered at at 90 degree angle, where you`d have 5 non-symetric positions to move the top one. Then you could move it toward the end of the bottom one, again repeating those 5 positions, and that up to 5 times for a total of 25 non symetric positions in this arrangeemnt. So far we have a total of 41 non-symetric positions.

Finally, that`s where it gets interesting. When you have a single locked point, you can rotate it to any angle you wish (in the valid range, which I don`t happen to know at this time and don`t have the time to try to compute), thus providing an infinite number of positions they can be locked together. And you have 4 of those infinites, 2 points on the bottom one, linking to either of the 2 end points of the top one (the others are symetric to those, again) Have fun trying this with 3 :)

Re:most lego's are a rip off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771081)

OMG, are you serious? Here's a truism for you: if you think of LEGOs as model-building, you think of LEGOs as model-building.

Yeah, for licensed properties it's sometimes like building a model, and you may leave it set up. Maybe it's because I grew up with LEGO stuff before licensed versions were quite so popular, but the actual FUN of LEGOs is building something that's not already designed for you. Design a house. Dump your two spaceships (even if it's a licensed A-wing and a B-wing) into a pile and build one mega-ship. Create a better mousetrap. Put all the gears from your Technics sets into one giant gearbox, just for the heck of it.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 8 months ago | (#46771087)

If you only built your Legos one time then you missed the point. Even the ones were kids are like "oh this is awesome I'm never taking it apart" ultimately wind up disassembled and part of something else.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771091)

buy a pack of bricks, 600 or 1600, or even buy specific individual pieces and never use instructions.
I am 44, my son is 4 and we both take apart sets to use pieces any way we like.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771129)

Somebody failed at playing with legos.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (0)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 8 months ago | (#46771193)

To be honest, I'm really disappointed with the modern lego sets. When I was a kid, I had the city sets, and for the most part they were buildings that you made from brick-shaped bricks with only a few uniquely molded parts for that set. Today there's barely any blocks. They're all cross-licensed tie-ins with movies or cartoons, and so in order to get the assembled set to look like something from The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars, 75% of the blocks are special molds.

There's almost no point in it being a lego toy, because you're just assembling a crude model of an x-wing, and the only thing you can make with the set is...an x-wing. Why not just...play with a model x-wing?

Re:most lego's are a rip off (2)

PIBM (588930) | about 8 months ago | (#46771427)

Actually, there are quite a few nice sets which I`ve purchased for my kids. I agree that there's a lot of bad sets out there, but I look at my old sets instructions advertisement pages, and there was also a lot of bad sets 30 years ago but we didn`t happened to purchase them either :)

http://www.lego.com/en-us/crea... [lego.com]
http://www.lego.com/en-us/crea... [lego.com]
http://www.lego.com/en-us/crea... [lego.com]
http://www.lego.com/en-us/tech... [lego.com]

Ok, that last one`s for me :)

Re:most lego's are a rip off (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771621)

Except that you're actually wrong.

minifgures (lego people) and their tools/accessories aside, the models today are almost completely made from select colors of commodity pieces.

What's changed is that the range of commodity pieces has expanded some, and models in general tend to make more use of some more elaborate pieces that attach in ways which allow more articulation of the model as well as smaller pieces (meaning they favor plates over bricks).

Sure that X-wing may have a special R2-D2 minifigure and windshield piece, but the rest of it will be common plates and a few bricks, with some hinges for the S-foils.

Now if you're buying the $10 sets you're probably getting like 1-2 mini figures and a tree (or setting apropriate equivalent) and that may look like it's 90% custom molded tree pieces, but when you go for the bigger $60+ sets you get tons of structural pieces.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46771195)

IF you only use it to build one set, then you are the problem, not Lego.

Re:most lego's are a rip off (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 8 months ago | (#46771251)

You can purchase a tub of 500 lego for $50, or a tub of 100 duplo for $30.

Relevant Skills (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46770975)

Having skill at playing with building blocks is not useful to most modern jobs. I'm sure the children are not great at milking cows either.

Re:Relevant Skills (5, Informative)

msobkow (48369) | about 8 months ago | (#46771019)

The issue is not the building blocks themselves, but the serious lack of coordination skills on the part of the children.

If you can't get a couple of blocks to snap together, how are you going to deal with tying your shoes?

Re:Relevant Skills (1)

idji (984038) | about 8 months ago | (#46771191)

15 years ago they were grumbling these kids couldn't run nor catch a ball. Horrors, what will they be saying in 2025?

Re:Relevant Skills (1)

MatthewCCNA (1405885) | about 8 months ago | (#46771263)

15 years ago they were grumbling these kids couldn't run nor catch a ball. Horrors, what will they be saying in 2025?

That use of a direct neural interface has rendered children unable to swipe to unlock.

Re:Relevant Skills (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 8 months ago | (#46771305)

"Kids these days can't even swipe a tablet, all wired-up as they are with these direct brain interfaces! It's terrible I tell you, terrible!"

Re:Relevant Skills (2)

Stickerboy (61554) | about 8 months ago | (#46771431)

"Kids these days can't even swipe a tablet, all wired-up as they are with these direct brain interfaces! It's terrible I tell you, terrible!"

In 2025, they probably will be stuck in their Buy 'N Large hover recliners, with drones delivering everything and informercials streamed directly to their heads-up or retinal displays. They won't need silly things like "interfaces" for antiquated notions like "choice".

Re:Relevant Skills (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771317)

They'll be saying "kids can't swipe a screen anymore. Or build lego. Or run or catch a ball.".

Re:Relevant Skills (1)

Tailhook (98486) | about 8 months ago | (#46771477)

couldn't run nor catch a ball

Yeah, that's what they said. Now we've got a nation full of lard asses piling into SSI disability because their bodies are ruined.

Fifteen years from now we'll have all that plus they'll be profoundly nearsighted from excessive iPhone use starting at age 2.

Re:Relevant Skills (1)

mindcandy (1252124) | about 8 months ago | (#46771085)

If you think all the iPads in the office are being used for business then your MDM sucks.

Re:Relevant Skills (4, Insightful)

Primate Pete (2773471) | about 8 months ago | (#46771089)

It's not the blocks that are important, it is the active use of imagination and motor skills. Comparatively less imagination and motor skills are used interact with a flat, rectangular panel of glass. Kids learn (partly) by playing and doing. With tablet screens, they are not doing as much. Fruit Ninja does is not as good as blocks.

Re:Relevant Skills (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 8 months ago | (#46771151)

I have packed a car for a road trip countless times in my life, and my ability to find the correct pattern to fill all available space is directly attributable to my extensive practice with LEGO bricks.

Actually, I think my ability to pack parts onto a PCB layout tighter than most other engineers and layout designers is also drawn from this, and that does have direct job benefits.

Someone who played a lot of Tetris might have the same skills; I was never interested in that game.

You can't use technology to raise children (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46770983)

Kinesthetic learners are failed by touchscreens too. We're raising a new generation of latchkey kids.

Re:You can't use technology to raise children (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 8 months ago | (#46771037)

I submit this could be an improvement over the helicopter kids.

If I have kids... (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about 8 months ago | (#46771007)

I won't let them use a computer until they are 5.

They they'll get taken away by CPS.

Re:If I have kids... (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 8 months ago | (#46771069)

As long as you teach them proper Engrish.

Re:If I have kids... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#46771153)

As long as you teach them proper Engrish.

I'll bet Mavis Beacon has a distro for that.

Re:If I have kids... (2)

Qwertie (797303) | about 8 months ago | (#46771311)

I don't think the "use of technology" causes these problems. Rather it is the failure of children to play much with physical objects, as all previous generations have done, and in extreme cases, failure to learn social interaction. That doesn't mean we have to eliminate computers from children's lives, it means children need more parenting and human contact.

Re:If I have kids... (1)

profplump (309017) | about 8 months ago | (#46771555)

If only there were some way to combine technology and social interaction. Something like a systematic way to express and broadcast thoughts and feelings for the purposes of sharing one's mind with other humans and visa versa.

Re:If I have kids... (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 8 months ago | (#46771381)

I thought that, until I had a kid.

The problem is once they're about a year old, there's nothing to do with them. They can't talk, they aren't old enough to understand the concept of playing with someone else...all they can really do is run around and bang into stuff.

However, I vowed to never be that guy who lets a TV raise his kid. So instead, my kid gets Sesame Street via Netflix on an iPad. Kid's 18 months old and already knows how to use a tablet.

Re:If I have kids... (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 8 months ago | (#46771551)

. . . I don't know who they are.

uphill and snowy (2)

mindcandy (1252124) | about 8 months ago | (#46771049)

geez, when I was a kid we had to play around with the chemicals under the sink for entertainment ..

Parents fault (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | about 8 months ago | (#46771053)

Most parents today are horrible. They do NOT interact with the chile like laying on the floor and playing with them. Get your asses off the couch and lie on the floor playing with your kids showing them how to stack blocks, and play.

I gave my daughter a earfull having my granddaughter use the ipad at 2 to keep her entertained. No you play with her using physical objects, and interaction.

Re:Parents fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771109)

Most parents today are horrible.

Yeah. I wonder who raised them? ::runs off your lawn::

Re:Parents fault (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 8 months ago | (#46771563)

I wonder who raised them?

The television did.

Re:Parents fault (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771145)

Wow, if my parents tried to tell me how to raise my kids they wouldn't have much access to their grandchildren after that. You must have very understanding children.

Re:Parents fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771201)

Glad to see you are pretty self centered and thing you know everything. HEY EVERYONE! we have someone here who thinks they know everything! So tell us all knowing one... give us your knowledge....

Only a fucktard will take your stance and attitude.

Re:Parents fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771357)

Sorry which tard are you referring to? I was thinking that giving an earful to someone you've already raised is pretty arrogant and self centered. You know...instead of talking about why it is happening and teaching better options in a way that isn't likely to just get daughter's back up? But never mind, a self-righteous tirade is always the best way to communicate and inform.

Re:Parents fault (2)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about 8 months ago | (#46771243)

I think you're just a terrible person. Shutting out your parents from interacting with their grandchildren because they criticized you. What a rational response. I would think most children would be very understanding in comparison to you.

Re:Parents fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771283)

He's probably from a generation where entertaining kids wasn't much of a problem since the children would be at work.
As would the dad.
Despite all the bitching, fact is that modern parents spend far more time with their children than parents just a few decades ago.

Uh, grandparents might have some experience ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771393)

Wow, if my parents tried to tell me how to raise my kids they wouldn't have much access to their grandchildren after that. You must have very understanding children.

Or perhaps mature children who recognize that they are new at parenting and that their parents might actually know something about raising kids. As opposed to immature children who are still in an immature teen-like my-parents-know-nothing phase. For the latter, don't worry, most of you will grow out of it, as you learn the lesson your parents already did, develop the experience they already have.

Seriously people. Children have not changed. They are still the result of millions of years of evolution that expects them to be reaching for physical things and manipulating them. Learning to judge distance and spatial relationships, manipulate objects through 3d space, etc.

Relegating them to tapping on glass seems like quite the experiment.

Re:Parents fault (5, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | about 8 months ago | (#46771207)

Most parents today are horrible.

So, just like all parents have always been everywhere, except in the halcyon myths of ahistorical memory, then.

Stories like this are hilarious. Do people really think that "moral panic over new tech" is going to sell to anyone who's been paying attention, well, ever?

Bad parents will always parent badly. New tech has nothing to do with it. Removing new tech from bad parents won't make them better. It will make them parent badly in different ways.

Re:Parents fault (1)

alen (225700) | about 8 months ago | (#46771353)

yeah, like in the old days

you, go outside and play and don't come back until dinner

Simple Solution (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about 8 months ago | (#46771383)

I gave my daughter a earfull having my granddaughter use the ipad at 2 to keep her entertained. No you play with her using physical objects, and interaction.

There is a simple, less confrontational solution to this which solves both problems at once and provides an important, although expensive, lesson about not giving toddlers unsupervised access to delicate electronics. Introduce your granddaughter to the joys of a toy wooden hammer - the sort that comes with the hammer through peg sets. Then stand back and watch the fun although of course once the screen cracks you'll need to remove the iPad for safety. Even if the hammer is removed I was always amazed at how much our kids liked to hammer using any available implement once they got the hang of it.

Re:Parents fault (3, Interesting)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 8 months ago | (#46771391)

Most parents today are horrible. They do NOT interact with the chile like laying on the floor and playing with them. Get your asses off the couch and lie on the floor playing with your kids showing them how to stack blocks, and play.

I gave my daughter a earfull having my granddaughter use the ipad at 2 to keep her entertained. No you play with her using physical objects, and interaction.

Most parents today are horrible. They do NOT interact with the chile like laying on the floor and playing with them. Get your asses off the couch and lie on the floor playing with your kids showing them how to stack blocks, and play.

I gave my daughter a earfull having my granddaughter use the ipad at 2 to keep her entertained. No you play with her using physical objects, and interaction.

You should really do both. My daughter had her own desktop computer before the age of 2. Mainly because she was so fascinated by me working on one all day. I loaded a bunch of edutainment programs on it for her. We didn't use it as a baby sitter though. We would do things together on it. Though sometimes she used it herself. But we also played with MegaBlocks when she was at that age too. It was fun to see how high we could stack them, or chase each other around with them on our fingers. As she got older we got Kinects and smaller Lego blocks. Eventually she needed a new computer and eventually a laptop. The only thing she asked for for her 7th birthday was to have her computer connected to the internet.

She had a school project a few weeks ago where she looked up information on the internet for a poster about an element and built a 3D model of the atom using metal rings and styrofoam balls. Her teacher went nuts over both.

Anyhow, as important it is to have fine motor control, computers are ubiquitous these days. Trying to keep kids away from them is not the best approach. However, I agree with you. Parents shouldn't use them as a baby sitter either.

Re:Parents fault (2)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 8 months ago | (#46771411)

My kid's a year and a half old and can already use an iPad to watch Sesame Street and Curious George. He also still finds time to run around in circles, bang on things and play with his toy cars. It doesn't have to be one thing or the other...it can be both.

And if it were only one or the other, I'd still rather have the kid know how to use technology than blocks, anyway.

Building Blocks are not LEGOs. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771073)

Building Blocks simply means any number of a variety of blocks, most notably wooden building blocks.
LEGOs are a trademarked branded construction toy that goes together in a very specific way.

The point of this is that it's about physical dexterity.

This article does not reference Lego.

Rip off? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771079)

LEGO bricks are so expensive because of the extremely tight tolerances needed for them to fit together properly- 0.002mm. They are most definitely not a rip-off. You do have a point about the one-time thing, however.

My son does fine with both (1)

adam525 (813427) | about 8 months ago | (#46771083)

It all comes down to being a responsible parent. If some of these people are handing them a tablet to babysit the kid, well yea, that's all they're going to know how to do. However, if the parents actually spend some time with their kids and do other things with them, there shouldn't be a problem. Let the kids use the tools and tech that is there for what they are : tools.

I'd also say that a tablet is better than just TV. Wouldn't you?

Re:My son does fine with both (1)

SydShamino (547793) | about 8 months ago | (#46771227)

My first baby will be born in a few months. My intention is for tablets to be used only outside the house, when we are in a public space like a (family-appropriate where I'm not being an ass taking my young child) restaurant, and quiet activity is most important as to not disturb neighbors (even though they should be okay with occasional child noise going to a family-appropriate restaurant). It might be appropriate in a car as well, when I'm alone with them and should be focused on the road, not them.

Real books, being read by a real parent, building blocks, and a shovel and some dirt should be the mainstay of home play. They worked pretty well for me.

Retarded fat thick overweight fat pillock (-1, Flamebait)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#46771103)

Lego isn't an acronym, so why capitalize it? It's an uncountable noun, so why pluralize it?

Because you're THICK, that's why.

Re:Retarded fat thick overweight fat pillock (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771287)

Lego isn't an acronym, so why capitalize it? It's an uncountable noun, so why pluralize it?

Because you're THICK, that's why.

Because LEGO is the official name for the bricks from the LEGO group: http://aboutus.lego.com/en-us

Your attempt at being obnoxious isn't obnoxious; it's just obvious.

Re:Retarded fat thick overweight fat pillock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771361)

LEGO is a name and trademark that is officially registered as all-caps, so all-caps usage is perfectly acceptable. Calling individual LEGO bricks "LEGOs" or "Legos" as colloquial shorthand is very common usage and is also perfectly acceptable (you won't see the company do it, of course, because nounification and verbification of a trademark dilutes it - ie. "Bill, xerox this for me!" - so it will always officially be "LEGO (R) pieces"). LEGOs are quite countable - if you're having trouble with that, maybe you should have played with your tablet less as a youngster.

They will still be able to post on Slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771111)

did they say swipe or wipe?

My nearly 2 year old daughter loves her legos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771117)

and I'm very pleased that she does, they are the big blocks and she also has a mega blocks set. I belive she can swipe to unlock my phone but she tends to hit the emergency call button first since I a passcode to unlock set up.

Just a quick anacdote, I was surprised when I saw my friend's daughter sit in front of an iPad totally engrossed and playing a game, she's a month younger than my daughter and my littler girl would never sit still long enough to do something like that, even the simple bubble popping apps don't keep her attention (granted it's been at least 5 months since we've tried). I don't think it's a bad thing either way just one child is calmer and more focused while mine tends to be a slobbering hell beast bent on destruction :)

Kids these days... (4, Insightful)

meta-monkey (321000) | about 8 months ago | (#46771121)

Exposing children to new technology is a terrible idea.

An Egyptian legend relates that when the god Thoth revealed his invention of writing to King Thamos, the good King denounced it as the enemy of civilization. "Children and young people," protested the monarch, "who had hitherto been forced to apply themselves diligently to learn and retain whatever was taught them would cease to apply themselves and would neglect to exercise their memories."

Mine . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771125)

Mine do both. No reason not to. And they're girls. I teach them about tools as well as dolls.

Time Limit and Age, plus school is doing it (1)

Formorian (1111751) | about 8 months ago | (#46771143)

We didn't give a tablet until age 4, for a very long car trip is what started it. They don't get it every day. Usually once or twice a week, and we limit it to 30 minutes. Sometimes an hour if it's a non school day.

But my daughter love's lego friends. And my son is huge into super heros/star wars lego's. Yes they are expensive, but we find sales usually.

I find it's about all around letting them do things. Out side play. Some kinect for bowling once in awhile instead of tablet time. Studying/reading/walking/biking. Just letting them go in my parents back yard for a few hours of "unsupervised" play (can see from deck/indoors).

My kids are now 5 and 7, K and 2nd. As soon as they start school they are on computers, touchscreens, tablets, etc. They have this white board thing. My daughter can pick up any electronic device and just know, faster then my wife. She's shown my wife how to operate the plex/chromecast device when my wife was first learning.

I don't necessarily see tablets/touchscreens as a bad thing, as long as in moderation. But esp since they are using it in school almost right away.

Kids are Retarded, News at 11 (0)

sexconker (1179573) | about 8 months ago | (#46771157)

Children today are retarded - physically, mentally, and emotionally, and they come from retarded parents.
The situation is going to get worse, not better, despite how many PSAs or "First Five" programs you trot out.

It takes a village to raise a child, but parents don't trust the village so they try to do it all themselves.
Then they realize it's too much fucking work for 2 people, 2 people who both need to keep their jobs, 1 person (since single parents are more common than not), or 1 person who's working a full-time job (or two). So the kids get plopped in front of the TV, a tablet, etc. and vegetate. Outside is dangerous, so kids don't play, they Google Play and get fat. When they enter school, the state becomes the sitter. Education and social interaction are to be avoided - the goals here are to not get sued and to try and make money off of attendance records and performance on standardized tests.

There are only 3 simple steps to solving this:

1: Stop having kids you when you can't handle kids (financially, mentally, temporally).
2: Stop having kids with people when you aren't both committed.
3: Stop wasting time coddling the broken kids in school - leave them behind in the bad schools and dumb classes and let decent kids get an education based on learning, not on administration.

Of course, none of this will happen because it involves people taking responsibility for themselves and their kids.

Re:Kids are Retarded, News at 11 (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 8 months ago | (#46771301)

"Children today are retarded - physically, mentally, and emotionally, and they come from retarded parents."
False, by every measure.

Re:Kids are Retarded, News at 11 (2)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 8 months ago | (#46771373)

I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint.

Hesiod, Eighth Century B.C.

Matches. (1)

digitalPhant0m (1424687) | about 8 months ago | (#46771183)

What happened to playing with matches?

Manipulative skills? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771197)

What do they mean by that exactly?

My feeling is... Playing around more in the "physical world" would give kids a better feel for different materials and objects, how they bend, break, etc. Playing around more in an abstract virtual world does not allow the kids to develop the same feel for materials, but on the other hand, does not limit them in the same way the physical world would do.

I guess, what goes around comes around. I'd vote for a healthy balance between "swiping screens" and playing with physical legos.

Do they not realize... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771203)

It takes far less motor coordination to "swipe a screen" (especially since most tablets that don't have a special unlock method like a password or pattern input will treat pretty much any touch on the screen as a "swipe" necessary to unlock it) than it does to put together Lego or other building blocks correctly. It also takes a considerable amount of strength to take them apart if you need to move the pieces. It's just as likely that the kids simply don't have the motor skills developed yet to use the blocks that it is the tablets are doing some kind of evil technology voodoo magic to make them bad at blocks, as some of these teachers seem to be suggesting.

The social aspects are wrong as well. For a lot of people, smartphones and tablets ARE a means of social contact - I bring my tablet to work all the time so I can IM my friends during my lunch break. Just because they're not talking to each other the way people did when I was a kid (mid-90s) doesn't mean they're not talking. Heck, I can remember spending recess as a kid doing pokemon battles and magic the gathering games, which I bet would look just as odd to these people if they were teaching in the 90s.

Then you've got some guy complaining that his students can't memorize lines for a play because information is too easy to archive. If he knew anything about anthropology, he'd know that's what separates modern man from cavemen - we can write down information and recall it later. In the words of SMBC, we don't need to store the fact that biggest meat is best meat in our brains because we can write it down and consult a book to find out which meat is best meat. What it sounds like this guy has is a bunch of young kids and a really boring play he had to force himself to memorize.

TL;DR, kids go for things that are interesting. They're not like adults who can force themselves to do the most mundane of tasks (hell, look at me doing data entry 8 hours a day). Tablets and smartphones are interesting to them, plays are not.

Problem solved (1)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about 8 months ago | (#46771231)

Just use an app to make Lego constructions on a tablet. Teachers these days have NO connection to reality!

My 2 year-old is proficient at the iPad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771253)

My two-year old uses the iPad nightly. When it's time to settle down after he's played with me (his dad) for a few hours after I get home from work. I get home and we play, laugh, rough-house, and read and play with toys. At night, when it's time to settle down (usually an hour, hour-and a half before bed) I let him chill with me on the couch or in his little chair on the iPad. Becuase of this, my son now knows his shapes, colors, alphabet and can count very well. I also use it, sometimes, as a potty-training utility. I sit and talk to him as he sits on the potty and when he does go, I take the iPad away, show him his work, and praise him. I'll admit sometimes when I'm too tired on the weekend I'll give it to him, but ultimately, multiple times a day I will take him outside to play on the playground outside of our apartment complex or at the park. I think iPad/screen time isn't a bad thing, as long as it's in moderation. When he goes to his grandmother's house (the one with all of the big blocks), he still has no problem stacking and building.

How to describe a pre-schooler (4, Insightful)

n0ano (148272) | about 8 months ago | (#46771257)

Colin Kinney said excessive use of technology damages concentration and causes behavioural problems such as irritability and a lack of control.

Seriously? These `behavioural problems` describe every pre-schooler I've ever met.

Re:How to describe a manager (1)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#46771689)

FTFY.

Think of it this way: Your kids are geting a head start at Harvard Business School.

Tactile interaction? (1)

Krishnoid (984597) | about 8 months ago | (#46771261)

My theory on this is that when we moved away from keyboards and mice in the use of phones and tablets, we did away with the last remnants of manipulating three-dimensional solid objects while interacting with computing devices.

I have this vague feeling that our connection to, and assumption that we can leverage, our animal evolutionary history is becoming more and more tenuous as we spend more of our time and focus interacting with items lacking analogs in nature:

  • printed language, as in books
  • industrial equipment
  • display technology
  • keyboards and mice to control physical processes
  • and now, tablets and phones lacking tactile 'presence'

As we control and manipulate our external environment more and more while continuously decreasing our bodies' physical engagement, I have to suspect that more of these secondary effects will surface. Just a hunch, I'm not passing judgement.

Won't someone think of the children! (3, Insightful)

gabebear (251933) | about 8 months ago | (#46771277)

Who is actually raising these concerns?

The main quote comes from a teacher who works for a think tank(that needs funding) talking about conversations he had with other teachers... not stuff he's done himself.

"I've spoken to a number of nursery teachers who have concerns over the increasing numbers of young pupils who can swipe a screen but have little or no manipulative skills to play with building blocks – or pupils who can't socialise with other pupils, but whose parents talk proudly of their ability to use a tablet or smartphone."

its called lazy ass parenting. (0)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about 8 months ago | (#46771295)

It's true and sad, most parents are lazy and just frankly don't care about there kids. Why is a kid under the age of 7 even swiping a screen to begin with. Electronics are a bad idea to use as a substitute for interaction in childhood, any rational adult knows that to be a fact.

I do not care (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771321)

As long as they learn to wipe their own ass without soiling their hands, nothing else matters

Besides the manipulation issue (4, Insightful)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | about 8 months ago | (#46771335)

which is already concerning, as fine motor skills are very important, the other sentence in the article that worried me was the mention that kids now have trouble memorizing even simple lines for a play, since they are used to information being easily always available so they aren't putting in the effort of learning it.

As much as easy global information access is great, unless you learn the basics it's quite difficult to make sense of what's available and to have an informed opinion. Just because you have a river of information always available it doesn't help if you can't relate to it, it makes you that much more susceptible to being influenced, because since you are not able to discriminate between quality information and misleading or wrong information, any page/blog/article of somebody with an agenda can just point to "studies" that support their point (no matter how objectively wrong that point is) and it transforms informed discussions into popularity contests.

I don't think it's tinfoil hat time in terms of there being some sort of overall arching conspiracy about this, but it sure is concerning when you have a society like ours where media has many orders of magnitude more funding and impact than academia, I mean, even the word "academia" nowadays is overlaid with negative connotations (at least in North America) rather than the respect it should evoke: these days an actor/model stating an opinion can easily counterbalance hundreds of scientists/academics with fact-based studies.

Before the internet there were just as many crackpot theories around, however they were not presented as if they were the same as science, if you went to the library you wouldn't find in the astronomy section geocentric books shelved together with heliocentric and general relativity ones: now with your browser on the "internet library" you can find professional-looking sites pro/anti everything and without the tools learned in school/university how can you make sense of which is right? especially in cases where the science is counter-intuitive for a particular issue?

LEGO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771337)

Its LEGO, not LEGOs...

Absurd conclusion. Everything is learned. (2)

js3 (319268) | about 8 months ago | (#46771341)

Kids will be familiar with whatever he/she has had time to play with. Ability to build legos doesn't come built it, kids who haven't seen one will still have to learn how to build them.

What's next? (1)

grumpyman (849537) | about 8 months ago | (#46771437)

We had TV, PC, gaming console and now tablet.... what next?

The simple solution is to (1)

CQDX (2720013) | about 8 months ago | (#46771513)

give the toddlers a bunch of building blocks and hang the tablet from the ceiling.

App (2)

I7D (682601) | about 8 months ago | (#46771527)

I'm sure there's an App that simulates working with legos.

Luddite stupidity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#46771635)

More stupidity from Luddite whiners.

Give the kids some time and they'll figure them out.

And if you continue to assume kids are stupid, they will grow up to be idiots just like the ones conducting the study.

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