Whenever I questioned latecomers as to their lack of interest in digital processing, they usually intimated a confusion as to the computers inner workings. If I suggested they imagine a computer as simply a fast processor with which to quickly process an image, much as they themselves achieve as they move slowly around the darkroom, my students were manifestly freed of anxiety and could at last 'see into the machine'; that is, they gained a tangible sense of what the inherent function of a computer actually is – accelerated processing.
I have also noted that if a student has been in some way over committed to
the use of computers at a very young age, there is great benefit in working
with photographic images in the slow antiquated processes of the darkroom - a
profound experience of decelerated processing. Even the most
determined computer devotees are able to appreciate the exacting methodical
nature and technical challenge of working with light sensitive materials.
Perhaps by working with an awareness of process we gain a deep kinesthetic understanding of what a computer actually does … process. If this simple idea is truly meaningful, then any activity requiring a sense of process, (such as clay work, painting, drawing, theatre, music, movement etc.), becomes highly beneficial in preparing children for future use of ICT.
The 21st Century child grows up in a world of computer interactivity. For some children it may be counter productive to work with this technology too much or perhaps too soon. They may require more time to explore their sense of process through many arts and craft experiences, rather than an almost instantaneous computer function. In preparation for the challenges of this modern technological world: a strong sensory experience of traditional step by step process is ultimately best practice.