More Interwebs Education

Internet for kids

Internet for Kids

Submitter: I don’t even know where to start…it’s a vhs tape…that teaches kids how to use the internet…and it comes with a floppy disk!  Do kids even know what vhs tapes and floppy disks are?!

Holly: Actually, in two public libraries I am aware of, the children’s departments are the only places where VHS tapes still exist.  Maybe the parents got DVD players and passed on their VCRs to the kids?  Even so, this is NOT the way to learn how to use the Internet in 2010!  I mean, one of the topics listed in the image below is “Discussing the advantages of the Internet.”  It’s not a matter of advantages and disadvantages to today’s kids.  It just…IS – and always was in their lifetime.

video cassette

  1. The slide rule book would definitely be of interest to collectors, though. It might end up being self-weeding as some collector “loses” it after checking it out.

  2. Despite VHS’ obsoleteness, VHS tapes tend to be more childproof than DVDs are, you can touchscratchget crayons or paint on the surface of a VHS tape and it’ll still work (assuming the paint is dry before you put it in the VCR).
    The only problem is if the kid figures out how to open the front flap that protects the magnetic tape and decides to pull the tape out.

  3. We still have three or four VHS, but my home library, the one my card is from, still has a lot, and I guess they still circulate. I get one now and then myself.

  4. Look at the list of topics on the back : how to use Netscape… how to bookmark… is it so difficult to bookmark that it needs a video to show you how to ?

  5. Our local public library sold all of its VHS tapes in a massive Friends of the Library sale a few years back–but public schools are another story: I’ve worked at various schools in the past decade and, without fail, all of them have more VHS tapes than DVDs in their libraries and all of the classrooms have combination DVD/VHS players.

    Incidently, a public school might be the only place a child might still see vinyl records and a record player. Elementary schools especially tend to have a lot of music and stories on vinyl.

  6. VHS isn’t obsolete yet (children’s media is one area where you can still find a lot), but floppy disks are. The last time I went computer shopping it was hard to find a computer that had a peripheral floppy disk drive – forget finding one that actually had an internal one.
    But the internet itself has changed just as dramatically in the past 12 years. I bet this doesn’t say a thing about social networking, and I’m guessing the “stranger danger” bits are all about chat rooms.

  7. On the subject of VHS tapes… you might considers a local community college. It is much easier to teach Film classes off VHS tapes than DVDs. The instructor can have the VHS tape set to the scene he or she wants to discuss and than just slip it in. A dvd requires them to load the menu and find the scene. Much more time consuming for a few minutes of demonstrating that bad things always happen to people traveling from right to left on the street before the monster eats them.

  8. Deb–My elementary school didn’t even have records when I was there in the 90s. We always had one at my house, and I was surprised when I went to school and realized not everyone did (I knew they were old, I just didn’t realize they were uncommon).

    I’m actually kind of intrigued and impressed by the idea of a video coming with a floppy disk–not for a home consumer, but for a library. I would think that they would be opposed to that, and if this got checked out reasonably often (which it very well may have, in the late ’90s), it’s no small feat that they managed to hang on to both. It’d be really easy to forget to return the floppy, and just as easy for the librarian to check it back in without noticing it was missing, since I’m sure it was probably the only video with one.