When I was a teenager, I played a lot of Sims. If you are the nerdy, slightly overweight girl that boys don’t notice, a game like Sims can let you live in in a world where a date isn’t just a fantasy you talk about with your friends. I also learnt, friendships blossom when you put energy into them, and people like gifts (this should be obvious, but there you go) – these are lessons I’ve taken into adulthood. And yet I, like many parents and educators, have reservations about our children’s access to ‘screens’.
I’ve talked about this before here, here, here . I am, obviously, a big fan of digital content and making use of e-learning tools in the classroom. I am the furthest thing from a person that thinks screen content is passive that you can get. But, I also share concerns with other people about the effect of digital content on our children (and particularly, my children).
Recently I watched a very interesting TED talk about the use of devices with pre-schoolers. It’s not a recent talk, having been given in 2017 but is still, in my opinion, relevant today. I’ve put this below and I really encourage you to watch it yourself. The speaker, Sara DeWitt, has a background in preschool education, and multi-media content for children. It’s arguable that her role with PBS in America makes her less than unbiased (you could argue the same thing of me, while we’re at it, given that I mostly create and sell digital learning resources), however she’s certainly not arguing that we shouldn’t be unquestioning of the use of digital media with children.