Since launching in March, this blog has surpassed our expectations, with guest contributors from around the world and posts from our team giving you wrap-ups of the latest news, research and advice about parenting, children and technology. In just eight short months we’ve grown to multiple thousands of readers each week, so this is our chance to say thank you for your support this year – for reading and contributing and tweeting and sharing – we are looking forward to more great posts and to sharing more from our current project, Parenting for a Digital Future, in 2016.
But before the new year is in full swing again, here are some recent highlights of 2015 to peruse:
We’ve looked at media and technology in the lives of tweens and teens, from how social media changes the nature of school taunting, to the opportunities for sexual education and exploration online. We’ve also considered the changes in the media lives of younger ones, questioning whether Angry Birds make angry children, or whether there is such a thing as ‘good’ screen time for very young children.
Media use has changed the lives of parents, too – as a new generation of ‘digital native’ parents build communities and find support online while creating opportunities to share and engage with their kids.
We have responded to recent controversies– including advertising to children on the new YouTube Kids app and the appropriation of images of other peoples’ children by Baby Role Players. Guest posters from Sweden to the Sudan have demonstrated how digital media are incorporated into the ecosystem of families – challenging traditional hierarchies, but sometimes reinforcing them, too.
Many of our posts have addressed current policy debates, from demonstrating some of the flaws in a widely-cited report claiming technology has little benefit for education, to suggesting how E-safety education in the US can be improved. We have distilled down 6 things policy-makers need to know about children and the internet and looked at how learning opportunities like coding and digital making impact on learning and social engagement.
Many of the posts above offered practical tips and ideas for families as they headed into the holiday season, many with new technologies to enjoy and to negotiate around.