Some Googlers Don't Want Their Kids Using Google Products

no-computer-for-google-kidsSeems many Google executives have children enrolled in the Waldorf schools in Los Altos where computers are not used until the 8th grade and even then only on a limited basis.

As the New York Times reported, computers "are not allowed in the classroom, and the school even frowns on their use at home," and from the number of Silicon Valley executives' families attending the schools seems this double standard is popular.

While Google executive Alan Eagle may "fundamentally reject the notion you need technology aids in grammar school," four plus years ago the company joined the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Foundation which sponsored giving laptops to children in Third World countries.

"OLPC's mission is to provide a means for learning, self-expression, and exploration to the nearly two billion children of the developing world with little or no access to education."

So give them to everyone except their own children? Do Google execs know something different about child development? Did they themselves not have them and were drawn to the industry because they missed what others had?

Eagle proudly said his fifth grade daughter doesn't know how to use Google and his eighth grade son is just learning his way around the search engine. Guess he doesn't know CEO Larry Page grew up in a house filled with computers and even built a printer out of Legos. Or that Google's co-founder Sergey Brin got his first computer - a Commodore 64 - at age 9.

Steve Jobs, the founders of Yahoo and many others were early users of computers. Eagle's stance seems a little harsh and even a little insulting to Google and its users.

"At Google and all these places, we make technology as brain-dead easy to use as possible," Eagle told the Times.

So who are these 'brain-dead' users? The rest of us who cannot afford to spend over $17,000 a year on elementary school? The children in third world countries?

The school backs its methods with high rates of graduates going to college and gaining post graduate degrees - not for an instance thinking it could be the influence of the educated parents who would see this not happening as failure.

Guess the Doodle 4 Google program will be dropped some time soon. The "competition where we invite K-12 students to use their artistic talents to think big and redesign Google's homepage logo for millions to see. At Google, we believe that dreaming about future possibilities leads to tomorrow's leaders and inventors, so this year we invited U.S. kids to exercise their creative imaginations around the theme, "What I'd like to do someday…"

Guess the Waldorf kids' answers would be use a computer.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.