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Monday, October 24, 2016

New Media Advice

Technology has its place, but all the experts agree that face-to-face interaction and playing are the very best for young children!
I've seen several mentions of the new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics about screen time for children under the age of two.  They are still recommending no screen time (except supported video chatting with faraway loved ones) for children under the age of 18 months.  For parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media,  they advise that they "choose high-quality programming/apps and use them together with children, because this is how toddlers learn best. Letting children use media by themselves should be avoided."  All in all, the suggestions are measured and thoughtful, and emphasize the importance of co-viewing, and creating a family media plan.

Also out this week is a briefing from the US Department of Education and the US Health and Human Services Department.  It leads with the importance of unplugged and unstructured play for child development, but also says there is a place for high quality programming and interactive apps in the lives of even the youngest children.  Their guiding principles make sense:  Ÿ
Guiding Principle #1: Technology—when used appropriately—can be a tool for learning. Ÿ

Guiding Principle #2: Technology should be used to increase access to learning opportunities for all children. Ÿ

Guiding Principle #3: Technology may be used to strengthen relationships among parents, families, early educators, and young children. Ÿ

Guiding Principle #4: Technology is more effective for learning when adults and peers interact or co-view with young children.

For those who were involved in the Media Mentor trainings of last year, you have probably heard about most of this before, and thought about it, too.  The new guidelines from AAP and from the DOE/HHS are good reminders, and it is great to see the information and ideas being talked about thoughtfully and carefully.

How are things going for you in this regard?  Any new thoughts or training?