An introduction to digital technology
With digital technology use changing dramatically as children grow up, we what to help you stay ahead of the game, whether that is through keeping keep them safe on games social media or the internet.
Have you seen the video on YouTube™ of the two-year old girl using a “new toy” called an iPad? Fascinating stuff. That might be an extreme case, but many families are introducing the internet and interactive TV to their children long before they can read or write. Technology seems to be instinctive for young people and, over time, it is becoming more and more engrained in their lives – at home, at school, at college and, eventually, in the workplace.
With this in mind, many parents want to know how they can encourage their children’s enjoyment of the digital world, whilst at the same time helping them to manage the potential challenges and risks it could bring.
“There is a generational digital divide which means that parents do not necessarily feel equipped to help their children in this space – which can lead to fear and a sense of helplessness,” comments Professor Tanya Byron, the UK government’s adviser on children and technology, in the Byron Review. “This can be compounded by a risk-averse culture where we are inclined to keep our children ‘indoors’ despite their developmental needs to socialise and take risks.”
“Just like in the offline world, no amount of effort to reduce potential risks to children will eliminate those risks completely,” adds Byron. “We cannot make the internet completely safe. Because of this, we must also build children’s resilience to the material to which they may be exposed so that they have the confidence and skills to navigate these new media waters more safely.”
But what kind of new media waters are young people navigating at the different stages of their childhood? Which websites are seven year olds visiting? Why would a 12 year old need a mobile? What kind of games do 15 year olds play? Here, we take you into your child’s ever-evolving digital world and help you to get more involved.