Should kids have keyboard and mouse skills?


My wife and I have been discussing buying a computer for our son who is 3.5 years old or so. At the moment he plays with an iPod Touch he loves using (and uses pretty well considering he doesn’t really understand some of the apps he plays with) and an educational computer from Toys R Us which is a bit advanced with its focus on literacy and numeracy.

My wife wants to give him her old MacBook when we upgrade her to a new MacBook Air in the near future and I want to find a low end, 1st generation iPad for him. Gina thinks he should learn how to use a mouse and keyboard. I look at the growing number of tablets and emphasis on a touch interface and wonder how relevant a mouse will be in the coming years. As for a keyboard, he could just as easily learn to use a touch screen keyboard. The more I think about it, the more I think we are moving into a post-pc world and our kids could benefit more from something like an iPad with its intuitive touch interface than trying to learn a desktop OS’s rules and conventions.

On the other hand, I could be a little ahead of the curve or just off my rocker. What do you think?



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