Kids and Computing

Written by Dr. Adnan Ahmed Qureshi

Continued from page 1

Remember, helping your child with a computer at home isn't exclusively about using so called `educational software' like they do at school to teach spelling, maths or geography. Parents can often provide more help by encouraging their children to simply use computers more actively and creatively as they are, or will be, used inrepparttar real world and to develop creative study and research skills that will complement and enhance their learning experience at school. To do that, you need to give your kids their best chance possible by getting them a really good multimedia PC.

But to prepare your children forrepparttar 109473 future, you need more than hardware and software. The most important thing is to think about what they do withrepparttar 109474 PC and what you can do to help. Don't worry about starting children too early. As soon as they can control their hands, children will find things to do with a computer.

It's not unusual to see three and four-year old happily working with paint programs and even creating and saving files. In many respects, having a computer at home can help older children with their school work in nearly every subject, just as having books at home helps them with reading and research. And because of its increasingly multimedia and interactive capabilities, a PC can provide a creative focus or outlet for even difficult children with no apparent interest in traditional education.

This concern about `givingrepparttar 109475 kidsrepparttar 109476 best' for their education is an emotion that computer manufacturers are more than happy to exploit, with many of them offering PCs that are hyped asrepparttar 109477 `ideal tool for education'. Then, of course, there'srepparttar 109478 fact that more than a few parents use their kid's education as a way to justify buying a PC so they can play Doom. Butrepparttar 109479 hardware you buy is only halfrepparttar 109480 story and where home computers are concerned,repparttar 109481 bundled software is just as important asrepparttar 109482 hardware.

It used to be that computer manufacturers interpretedrepparttar 109483 phrase `for educational use' as meaning `last year's leftover stock with a copy of Encarta chunked in'. However, asrepparttar 109484 home market has boomed, some manufacturers have come to realize that education has its own needs, and are producing systems that combine powerful hardware with a good range of bundled software with an obvious educational or informative bent.

Dr. Adnan Ahmed Qureshi holds a Ph.D. in IT with specialization in the induction of information technology in developing countries. He is the former Editor of Datalog, Computech, ISAsia and columnist for The News International. At present he is working as Senior Industry Analyst and IT Consultant.

10 Things You Should Do BEFORE Your Child's IEP Meeting

Written by Lisa Simmons

Continued from page 1

7. Decide who's coming with you -- IEPs tend to be extremely anxiety provoking for parents. When you are experiencing a lot of emotion it is unlikely that you will be able to absorb allrepparttar information be given to you. Having someone else there who can listen torepparttar 109472 discussion & take notes will free you up to participate inrepparttar 109473 discussion & focus on your own agenda.

8. What about tapingrepparttar 109474 meeting -- Recording IEP meetings can be a touchy issue for many school districts. However, if you cannot find anyone to come with you torepparttar 109475 meeting you may want to consider tape recording it so that you can refer back torepparttar 109476 discussion after you're home & calm. One caution, you will need to notifyrepparttar 109477 school that you would like to tape recordrepparttar 109478 meeting. Explain that it will be only for your reference & ask if there are any school guidelines or policies that you should be aware of regarding taping. Start this process as soon as you've been notified aboutrepparttar 109479 meeting as some school districts have time guidelines thatrepparttar 109480 notice of recording must be given at least X amount of time beforerepparttar 109481 meeting.

9. Determine your child's participation - If you see a future of self-advocacy for your child, then it is important to involve them in IEPs as early as possible. This will let them watch your advocacy skills & learn by imitation. It also give yourepparttar 109482 opportunity to get their input on what & how they would like to learn. If you aren't comfortable with your child attendingrepparttar 109483 meeting, then consider how their presence can be felt by proxy. Two ways recommended by other parents are:

A) Bring your child's picture & set it inrepparttar 109484 center ofrepparttar 109485 table - this should effectively remind everyone atrepparttar 109486 table thatrepparttar 109487 decisions made will impactrepparttar 109488 life of a real person & shouldn't be arbitrary or for convenience sake.

B) Bring your child's portfolio -- originally developed to introduce new teachers to your child,repparttar 109489 portfolio illustrates all that is unique & special about your child. This is a wonderful way to remind participants that everyone has strengths & special qualities to bring torepparttar 109490 "table of life". Check outrepparttar 109491 sample portfolio in our web resource section for ideas on how to do this.

10. Review your rights! -- Right before you attend a meeting filled with professionals isrepparttar 109492 perfect time to read again howrepparttar 109493 federal laws "see" your role as parent. It will reinforce your feeling of importance withinrepparttar 109494 team & also ensure that no one surprises you with any "questionable" tactics duringrepparttar 109495 meeting.

If you have completed all 10 steps you should be feeling pretty prepared. Now you can go into that conference room with confidence knowing that you are ultimate "expert" on your child!

Copyright 2000, Lisa Simmons

Lisa is director of the Ideal Lives Project, providing practical support for special needs families & professionals. Visit online at: or subscribe to her free newsletter at:

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