Posts Tagged ‘ digital media ’

Is Your Son Getting Special Treatment With Smartphones and Video Games?

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Boy with tabletParents choose different techniques based on gender when it comes to raising their child—but they might not always realize it.

Recent research revealed that parents lie more in front of boys and that girls are unintentionally discouraged from pursuing math and science. Now a new study has determined that a parent’s technology choices are also influenced by gender.

PlayScience gathered information for their Parents and Platform Perceptions survey about digital devices and a child’s usage. The survey focused on 501 parents with children between the ages of 2 and 9; parents were asked which devices they owned, which ones their child had access to, when and why their child used them, and their own attitude toward the devices.

The survey showed that parents preferred their children to use tablets—especially children’s tablets—far more than smartphones. Parents perceived tablets to be four times more educational that smartphones, and children’s tablets to be six times more educational than smartphones.

Interestingly, gender differences became most pronounced when it came to child-friendly technology and video game use. Thirty-percent of parents allowed girls to use devices based on how “child-friendly” they were considered, compared to only 17 percent of parents with boys. Parents were also more likely to allow boys to use the device of their choice.

As for video game and smartphone usage, parents were three times more likely to allow them for boys. According to BetaBoston, parents “were also slightly more likely to use technology to manage the behavior of boys, such as getting them to go to bed or calming them down when they’re upset.”

“Ironically, parents have distinct and very different perceptions about devices, even when they have almost identical content,” said J. Alison Bryant, MD, co-chief executive and chief play officer at PlayScience. “This study puts parents on notice to be more attentive to their attitudes and behaviors about their children’s media use.”

What do you think? Are you protective of your daughter‘s technology use? Or are you more likely to let your son choose his favorite device?

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She’s a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Setting Limits on Technology
Setting Limits on Technology
Setting Limits on Technology

Image: Boy using tablet via Shutterstock

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Too Much Screen Time Can Decrease Kids’ Ability to Read Emotional Cues

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Kids Who Use Technology Less Can Read Emotional Cues BetterThe amount of screen time you allow your kids can be a point of tension in many households. A new study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior shows that increased digital use may actually affect pre-teens’ ability to read and interpret people’s nonverbal emotional and social cues.

According to The Los Angeles Times, two groups of children were given two tests, a pre- and a post-experiment test that asked them to decipher the emotions of people shown in photographs and videos. Afterwards, one group continued with their normal plugged-in lifestyle, while the other group spent five days outdoors with peers at a wilderness camp where all electronics (cellphones, televisions, and computers) were banned.

Researchers found that the kids who spent time away from technology scored better on their post-experience test, while those who didn’t scored about the same. This finding underscores the worry that many parents have about the negative impact of prolonged exposure to digital media. “Many people are looking at the benefits of digital media in education, and not many are looking at the costs,” said Patricia Greenfield, a senior author of the study from UCLA. “Decreased sensitivity to emotional cues — losing the ability to understand the emotions of other people — is one of the costs. The displacement of in-person social interaction by screen interaction seems to be reducing social skills.”

But the good news is that it only took the kids who attended camp a short amount of time improve their emotional recognition ability. And this new piece of research gives the evidence you need to get kids to turn off technology — at least for a few more hours — and interact with friends and family. “The main thing I hope people take away from this is that it is really important for children to have time for face-to-face socializing,” said Yalda Uhls, another author of the study and a Southern California regional director for Common Sense Media,

Would you ever consider asking your family to give up technology? Our Homeschool Den blogger is doing just that this week!

Setting Limits on Technology
Setting Limits on Technology
Setting Limits on Technology

Plus: If you’re hesitant about how to introduce technology to your little one, we’ll show you how with these media-minding tips.

Photo of children courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Kids’ Media CEO: Are Parents Too Concerned with Privacy?

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

A “kid-driven future of play and learning” is the call Rex Ishibashi, CEO of Callaway Digital Arts made this morning at The Sandbox Summit at MIT.  Callaway makes mobile storybook apps featuring Sesame Street, Thomas the Tank Engine, and other beloved children’s characters.

Ishibashi’s observation from within the kid’s media industry is that regulations and privacy concerns, while important, are crowding out innovations that could help children learn more using technology.

“If we can’t help kids, perhaps we can provide them with safe tools where they can help themselves,” Ishibashi told the audience of educators, software developers, and entrepreneurs.

His proposal is that companies should prioritize ways to provide “safe social” for kids, allowing children under age 13 to participate in the flow of innovation and creativity available on the Internet and through social media, without violating their basic privacy.  Parents, he argued, have become so concerned with protecting kids’ privacy that they have built a “mile-high cyclone fence” around their children, cutting them off from their full potential to engage with technology, feel involved in its future, and generate content for it.

If done right, Ishibashi argued, technology can serve both the 21st century kids who crave companionship, entertainment, and engagement, and the “digital parents” who want to give their children trustworthy, developmentally appropriate tools for learning.

Image: Computer privacy, via Shutterstock.

 

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