Children and technology: expert advice

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Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
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Contents


  • 1 Socialization in the time of the Coronavirus  
  • 2 Children and technology: video games are not all the same 
  • 3 Children and technology: the importance of boredom 
  • 4 Children and technology: the DAD 

Distance learning, social media and video games. During the Coronavirus emergency, the time that children and young people spend in front of screens and online has significantly increased. How does technology affect the lives of children and young people? In the new issue of "A Scuola di Salute", the digital magazine edited by the Institute for the Health of the Child Jesus, directed by Professor Alberto G. Ugazio, the hospital's experts aim to help parents and teachers to be aware of rules and characteristics of the network and the digital space to exploit the web for its best features, avoiding the risks associated with the use of these platforms. Let's see the advice on children and technology. 


Socialization in the time of the Coronavirus  

Even in the absence of a meeting place like school, children and teenagers have transferred a large part of their sociality to the web, through social networks and instant messaging platforms. However, according to a recent report by the European Parliament, the growth in the use of digital tools to be together with others can have negative consequences: firstly, the possible loss of some relationships and the replacement of existing relationships. In other words, taking refuge in digital tools to be with others could lead children and adolescents to neglect everyday affections, for example with family or friends closest to home. Not only. According to some studies, the use of social networks can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness in adolescents. 


Children and technology: video games are not all the same 

Numerous researches have shown how video games, especially if used in the evening, can worsen the quality and duration of sleep, and consequently can also have a negative effect on school results. More recently, researchers have focused on the effect of video games on aggression. Again, almost all studies have shown that those who play violent video games tend to engage in violent behavior. Not all video games, however, are the same. Some - including those who are played mostly online - can also foster positive and useful skills: cooperation, teamwork, sharing, problem solving, and even empathic skills. It is up to the parents to follow the child in the choice and use of video games. 


Children and technology: the importance of boredom 

According to a recent British study, up to 13 hours a day are spent between television, video game consoles, smartphones and PCs, almost two thirds of waking time. Physical distancing has also increased the need to use the network to work or, in the case of children, to go to school, socialize and pass the time. The vision of online entertainment platforms, for example, is often used to counteract the boredom that children and teens feel from spending all day at home. For the little ones, however, getting bored is not always a bad thing. According to a series of studies published in recent years, boredom is a time of growth, which promotes, among other things, the development of the imagination. Getting bored is like dedicating time only to yourself and stimulates you to find creative solutions to come up with something to do, alone or with parents and siblings. 


Children and technology: the DAD 

According to Unesco, about one billion students are forced home by the Covid-19 emergency. It was therefore necessary to activate on a large scale the tools for online or remote teaching. While representing a huge resource for a huge number of people, especially in those parts of the world where they would otherwise not have access to education, the best DAD will never be able to replace face-to-face teaching. If, thanks to the Internet and web technology, children and young people have at their disposal many opportunities for knowledge and learning, as well as for socialization and fun, the essential task of teachers is to educate their critical awareness and the ability to select sources, always seeking to integrate these valuable new tools with traditional teaching resources. 



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