Kyle & Austen C
Non identical 5 year-old twins
Education: 2 years part time preschool
1 and 3/4 semesters part time Pre-K
Computer Experience: Kyle and Austen had their first encounter with
a computer at age three when their parents put a game on the monitor. "They loved the experience," says their mom, Gale. "We all shared it.
In fact, their dad and I had as much fun teaching them how to play
as they had playing!
"The game involved choosing colored balls. A ball was shown, for example, the color blue. Then a series of balls moved slowly across the screen and the kids had to click every blue one - scoring points for each correct ball.
"Over the next year, they asked to play more computer games. They got new ones as rewards for doing chores and every day good behavior. They kept getting better at higher, complex levels while learning how to share, compete individually, and as a team.
"And while they had fun, we made sure they were also learning from
the various games - how to tell time, about numbers and math, letters
of the alphabet.
"During the process, the boys were taught how to turn on and shut down the computer properly. One time they got into a fight over whose turn it was to do so - and they were both punished. Neither was allowed to use
the computer for three days.
"For a while after that, they were polite to one another at the computer.
But sure enough, they soon fought again over whose turn it was to start it up and then over which Web site to go on. They broke the keyboard. This resulted in a one-week suspension. In that time they were taught why using computers is a privilege which no one wants to lose.
"We help them access Web sites to do research on various topics
for school projects, and other sites to show them places we'd like to visit on vacation. Sometimes we use the Web for driving directions. At times, before we leave the house - they insist on going online to check our course to make sure we don't get lost!
"One of their favorite Web sites is CyberSpacers.com. They have developed games that they play with their building blocks and Leggos using the super heroes from CyberSpacers. Kyle's favorite is SuperC.
He will dress up, use a blue towel as a cape and a big cardboard box
for the monitor-head - then zoom around.
"Austen loves MC and does magic tricks with a wand. They use their transformer toys to battle DeBUG and their own imaginary villains -
and always win 'FOR THE GOOD OF CYBERSPACE!'
"One of the great online moments that we as parents shared was to let them Take the Oath. We read the oath to them and discussed each issue. It was a bit advanced, but they got the idea. We printed the oath and they signed their names. Then we put it in a frame and hung it on their wall.
"They even took the oath to school for "sharing" classes". Some of their friends asked for copies. We printed more and the twins took them to school for the other kids.
"CyberSpacers has its own oath, and it's a good one. Maybe WeeBeez should have their own oath, too?"