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Re: debian-kids: Asking the kids what they think

On Wed, 9 Feb 2000, Bdale Garbee wrote:
> Yep, this was interesting.  Already, I see some common themes emerging. 
> Maybe if we get a few more parents to quiz their kids, some useful
> short-term goals will pop out... 

Clearly our kids want some guidance with using the Internet.  I, too, have
helped my kids browse the Internet looking for information on various
topics, and yet the kids have not done this themselves.  This is in part
due to their lack of skill in using the tools, and in part because of my
natural caution as a parent, having seen plenty of potentially damaging
stuff out there that is way beyond their maturity level.  I'm sure that as
long as we take an active parenting role as we launch them onto the web on
their own, we'll be able to address those concerns as they come up.

> I have to admit that while E was really excited the first time I showed her
> the gimp working with the scanner on my main Debian box, there is currently
> so much good/cheap software for kids under Windows that I haven't seriously
> thought about moving her to Linux yet...  

I'm sure this is a common situation for (Linux using) parents to be in. 
And while it's not really such a bad thing, I think, to be getting Windows
software for the kids, I do this with a nagging sense of discomfort.  I
guess for one thing, I miss being able to just "go in and fix it" when we
find things that don't quite work right, or at least being able to report
the problem to upstream and have a real chance of it being fixed.  In
short, all the reasons that make me cringe from using non-free software
for myself (including, *blush*, pine/pico, as I write this note) apply
when it comes to software for the kids ... in spite of the fact that I
have excellent rationalizations (it's out there for Windows, and Linux has
nothing like it).  I'd certainly hope to see enough good quality free
software for kids emerge over the next five years to make Linux an
attractive choice for parents and educators for their kids. 

    nSLUG       http://www.nslug.ns.ca      synrg@sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
    Debian      http://www.debian.org       synrg@debian.org
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