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Happy New Year to all Netters:

The Museum of Science in Boston is hosting a very interesting Forum on 
Sunday, January 28th from 2:00-5:00 that I think would be of interest 
tothose of you who are in the area. It is entitled

    Children and Computers: What is the Recommended Daily Allowance?

Whether they're playing games, using the Web for research, or instant 
messaging friends, children of all ages are increasingly using 
computers. But how much of a role--and what type of role -- should 
computers and online interactions play in their daily lives?

In the style of most Forums at the Museum of Science, "Children and 
Computers" begins with presentations from a panel of experts and then 
continues with informal small group discussions. Participants will share 
their perspectives, values, and opinions, and come to their own 
conclusions of how much and what sort of computer use is best for children.

NOTE:  teenagers are encouraged to participate in the January 28th Forum 
as it is geared to children ages 11-18.

Panelists to include:

. Professor Eric Klopfer, Director, MIT Teacher Education Program (how 
games can bridge students' experiences in school and out)
. Professor Henry Jenkins, Director, MIT Comparative Media Studies 
Program (core skills and competencies young people need if they are 
going to be full       participants in the new media landscape)
. Ingeborg Endter, Consultant, formerly of the Intel Computer Clubhouse 
Network (creative uses of computers and social networking)

The program is FREE and includes light if you have 
time on Sunday, January 28th from 2:00 to 5:00, call and sign up today: 
617-589-4250 or <>

For more information visit:

The first forum in this series took place on Sunday, November 19, 2006 
and focused on younger children (ages 3 - 10)

Panelists included:

Margaret Bush (Professor, Graduate School of Library and Information 
Science, Simmons College) talked about some of the 21st century dilemmas 
in expanding the concept of literacy. Computers provide many 
opportunities and some challenges in supporting children as they acquire 
language and gain skill in using it in reading, writing, and thinking. 
What mix of tools and skills do children need today? Are some more 
important than others?

Alex Chisholm (Co-Director, MIT Education Arcade) talked about how 
parents and kids can play popular games to learn cool stuff. We don't 
need to be afraid of the mouse, keyboard, and joystick polluting young 
minds, but we do need to be smart about introducing kids to the right 
kinds of experiences at the right ages.

Diane Levin (Professor of Education, Department of Early Childhood 
Education, Wheelock College) talked about the vital importance of 
creative play for children's development and learning. Children's 
involvement with computers can undermine creative play and contribute to 
a dependence on externally-controlled, programmed activities rather than 
internally controlled, creative play. How can we help children grow up 
to be informed and responsible computer users?

Natalie Rusk (Developmental Technologies Research Group, Tufts 
University) showed how constructive tools can engage children in 
designing creative projects. She shared two innovative technologies: 
PicoCrickets, a construction kit for making playful inventions; and 
Scratch, a programming language that lets young people create their own 
animations, games, and interactive art.

Other dates in this series::

Sunday February 11, 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Focus on younger children)

Sunday, March 4, 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Focus on older children, teens)


Jody Newman
Library Aide, retired
Stow, MA 

"Almost everything you pay for in life is an entry fee. 
What happens next is up to you."  Steven Dutch, U of Wisconsin

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