See, Our Kids Are Good at Something

American kids may be slow learners, compared to foreign students, when it comes to academics. They’re precocious, though, at using consumer electronics. A report by The NPD Group looks at the average age at which children in the U.S., Britain, Germany and France begin using some popular technologies. Except for a small head start by French kids in using video-game consoles, American kids were the youngest to use each of the items on the survey’s list. (Come to think of it, this may help explain why they lag behind their overseas counterparts when it comes to doing schoolwork.) Kids in the U.S. start using desktop computers at age 5.5, on average, video-game consoles at 5.9, video-game portable systems at 6.2, laptop computers at 7.1 and digital cameras at 7.9.