Harnessing the dizzying power of digital

The power of digital

When I was a child, ‘digital’ interactions consisted mostly of sneaking to watch cartoons early in the morning at weekends, shouting out answers to the questions being asked in the programmes we were watching and making imaginary shapes out when our chunky TV set struggled to find signal.

It’s mind-boggling to consider the digital interactions of my children in comparison.

In a heartbeat, they can google the answer to their most burning questions, tune in to a livecam of their favourite youtubers, and play games with children on the other side of the world, to mention just a few in their very ‘connected’ worlds.

“Of course my children are obsessed with the internet – it’s amazing!”

As a parent, we can’t escape news stories and experts who devotedly preach to us the anti-digital gospel – but – like death and taxes – I simply can’t see a way to remove digital from our lives.

My children are obsessed with the internet, and to be honest, I don’t blame them! There are billions of pieces of information, people and perspectives out there – all at our fingertips.

Of course my children are obsessed with the internet, It’s amazing! but the conversation about the pros and cons is a weekly discussion.

Harnessing the power of digital for under 5’s

What makes the difference? Mindful use of screen time

  • Actively enhance—and limit—media encounters by choosing them together and purposefully (‘Let’s watch or play this content, at this time, for this reason’).
  • Limit screen use in public places and during family routines, such as at meals. Family times are prime opportunities for social learning.
  • Select content from quality, non-commercial sources, to minimize exposure to advertising.
  • Pay attention to messages about gender, body image, violence, diversity and social issues when choosing content.

In Canada, the Paediatric society have conducted a study into screen time in early childhood. They found that well-designed, age appropriate TV programmes, with specific educational goals can provide an additional route to early language learning and literacy. It also found that interactive media can help children retain taught information.

They found that these benefits are best enhanced when adults are actively involved in their children’s screen time. They give some examples of ‘active involvement’ – when adults watch TV with their children, and can explain how the concepts represent real life; when adults choose their children’s screen activities – prioritising education, and when adults combine the use of touch-screen with creative play. When screen time is used in this way, it can assist a child’s early development.

With this is mind, all our video content at our Online Nano Spanish Club is designed to get the children involved in the learning creating interactive situations to encourage participation, so parents, are you ready to learn too?

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