What Are the Benefits of Children Using Computers?

Information abounds about the downside of children using computers -- negative effects range from less outdoor playtime to contact with sexual predators. But you'll also find pronounced benefits of computer use for children. Internet access can help kids become more creative and communicative, according to the United States Department of Commerce; computer use can also improve academic growth and expose children to worlds they might not encounter otherwise.

A father and son on a computer. Credit: Jack Hollingsworth/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Academic Growth

Using academic software can help children progress in school, says reading specialist Pat Wyman in an interview on Homeschool.com. Wyman says interactive software programs help kids of all ages develop their strong points and build up their weaker areas. Western Illinois University reports computer use, such as emailing, can improve children's writing abilities, and Internet access greatly expands the number and quality of resources available for social studies projects.

Communication

Email is a helpful tool in expanding children's communication skills, according to the United States Department of Commerce. In a Nebraska project, youngsters used email to communicate with senior citizens in their community, and the result was increased opportunity for learning, bonding and understanding. Children can also use computers to communicate with members of their extended families, and in case of a move, kids can stay in touch with friends from their old neighborhood.

Expansion of World View

Computer use expands children's world view, according to Western Illinois University. Youngsters in rural locations can pay virtual visits to art museums; city kids can learn about farms and forests. Children have unparalleled access to information about other countries, too. They can visit travel websites, view online videos, download international recipes and crafts projects and correspond with email pals from all over the world.

Creative Expression

Computer use exponentially increases options for creative growth and artistic expression, according to the United States Department of Commerce. In a Vermont project sponsored by the Department of Commerce, students were able to compose music, email it to professional musicians and teachers and receive electronic critiques of their work. Computers allow children of many age groups to develop artistic skills in photography, film-making, drawing and design as well.

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