A recent article in the NY Times has raised the issue of screen time and specifically a reflection after this prolonged and enforced period of exposure for children as part of their ongoing education. The conclusion that “screen time or technology can be good for children but also bad” does leave the reader slightly confused. Children were often encouraged to go online, as venturing outside was either not possible or was unsafe for some children or to enable the parent to catch up on work or other responsibilities. The author suggests that there are no rules of right and wrong, which then requires common-sense and sound judgement. But realistically we all know that there is both good content and bad content, appropriate content and inappropriate content. The difficult challenge is to be able to help children navigate this mire of 19.2 billion web pages, according to Yahoo. Without a parent guiding a child or looking over their shoulder all the time we do need to rely on technology to help us achieve this efficiently. With the Escudo Web classroom manager solutions used at school, a IT Manage (and the teacher) can set the level of filter to an appropriate level during class time and if a device is allowed to be taken home (or used outside of school hours) the management of the filter is passed to the parents, who can manage this with a free app (for iOS and Android). This can be easily set to retain the school level of filter, or if a parent is more strict or liberal in terms of what they want their child to access, can be customised. This is one part of our concept of Digital Parental Interaction, where parents are given the possibility to engage with their children and have a discussion about devices and screen time and reach agreements and teach responsible behaviour. This has to be the best way forward for all parties concerned and helps achieve a balance.

#screentime #parents #education