Teach your cyber pet new tricks

Is it not time to consider integrating into the curriculum one of the things our pupils will have spent much time with over the summer holidays? The humble cyber pet, though rejected, banned and confiscated by schools, could actually be useful.

Personal and social education lessons could actually become interesting with the use of the cyber pet as a teaching aid. Where else can we find such a willing subject to teach parenting skills, social skills, elementary first aid, personal hygiene, the virtues of tidying up, the necessity of a sensible bed time, and babysitters when the owner wants to go out? It could also be a valuable contraceptive in making children realise the responsibilities of parenthood.

Children will learn much more readily from a two-inch piece of plastic containing a microchip than from an adult with a degree and real-life experience. Sad but true. The only problem for teachers is mastering the instruction book or finding a child who can explain which button to press when Fido wants to have a shower. And what to do when your cyber pet dies because you've got too much marking to play with it.

CAROL TOMS

13 Queen Street Whalley Near Clitheroe, Lancs BB7 9TA

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