At home

Using media to support children’s STEM learning

We shouldn’t view media as ‘the enemy’, but embrace it as a learning tool for children, particularly for STEM subjects, so say Kelly Sheehan and Bri Hightower. Science and maths media not only supplement children’s early learning of STEM concepts, but can also serve as useful resources to parents seeking new STEM activities, and for those who are not […]

Gender roles in ICT parenting

How do mothers and fathers engage with their children’s information and communications technology (ICT) use? Many studies in the past have featured only mothers as respondents.  In this post Ruth Festl  discusses the findings of two studies exploring how mothers and fathers similarly or differently engage in ICT parenting, providing new insights about how these parental activities relate to the child’s […]

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    Kids’ screen time shifts dramatically toward phones and tablets

Kids’ screen time shifts dramatically toward phones and tablets

How has children’s media use evolved over time? Common Sense Media published their latest zero to eight study in October, and in this post Michael Robb discusses the key findings. Michael is director of research at Common Sense, overseeing the research program, evaluation of organization impact, and program development research. He has published research on the impact of electronic media […]

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    How can parents become ‘screenwise’? An interview with Devorah Heitner

How can parents become ‘screenwise’? An interview with Devorah Heitner

In our research parents often complain that they don’t know where to turn to for advice about digital media, finding that the old ‘screen time’ rules don’t serve them well in a digital age. This is why we’ve contributed to resources to help guide parents and educators, and why we periodically feature the work of experts who are out […]

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    Tablet totalitarianism – how an obsession with ‘screen time’ misses the point

Tablet totalitarianism – how an obsession with ‘screen time’ misses the point

With the start of the school year, backpacks will be filled with notes home to parents. Instead of the expected warnings about forgotten PE kits last year, though, one mother discovered a flyer from her child’s school exhorting parents to tell their kids to ‘PUT DOWN THAT TABLET!’ Concerned about the negative tone, and lack of balance, mum and […]

September 6th, 2017|Featured, On our minds|2 Comments|

Talking to children about pornography: Five insights

Jessica Zurcher had an experience that led her to conduct 33 qualitative interviews regarding parent–child pornography communication. This post draws on those interviews to offer five suggestions for talking with children about pornography, advocating for an approach with open communication and discussion. Jessica is an assistant professor in the School of Communications, Brigham Young University, USA. She researches new […]

Screen time for kids: Getting the balance right

Because it is #nationalplayday today, and children are out of school for summer holidays, we are discussing strategies for managing screen-time.  This post features an infographic created by Sonia Livingstone and Alicia Blum-Ross, together with the Connected Learning Alliance, which addresses more effective methods for parents than simply ‘watching the clock’.  Sonia is Professor of Social Psychology at LSE’s Department of Media […]

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    The Internet of Toys: Implications of increased connectivity and convergence of physical and digital play in young children

The Internet of Toys: Implications of increased connectivity and convergence of physical and digital play in young children

How are children’s play objects shaped by technological inventions? As toys become increasingly connected online, Bieke Zaman, Donell Holloway and Leila Green research the ‘Internet of Toys’. The the data they report in this post show that parents generally welcome these changes because they offer new ways of playing, learning, and the possibility of extreme personalization. Bieke Zaman is associated with mintlab and researches how […]

Learning or loafing – watching summer TV

Now that children are out of school for the summer, parents and carers will inevitably turn to a screen (of some sort) to keep children occupied. How can this be a productive, learning and enriching time for children even when in front of a screen? Alicia Blum-Ross encourages parents and carers to let children experiment, play, and relax this summer, […]

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    ‘Pop-ups and pull-outs: How digital books offer children an experience of ‘materiality’

‘Pop-ups and pull-outs: How digital books offer children an experience of ‘materiality’

How have digital books changed the reading experience for children? As summertime is a prime season for parents to read to, or read with their children, in this post Natalia Kucirkova outlines the factors that affect ‘reading for pleasure’ in the context of digital books. Natalia argues that digital books have reinvigorated interest in the ‘materiality’ of children’s reading, […]