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Screen Time Is Actually Good For Your Kids

Screen Time Is Actually Good For Kids. Yes, Really

Rather than fearing the Internet, Aussie parents are now embracing technology to help prepare their kids for a competitive digital future.

According to the nbn™ Digital Parenting Report, the majority of Aussie parents surveyed (76 per cent) understand the need to harness the Internet for education in the home in order to help prepare them for the future, and 48 per cent are co-viewing educational material with their kids online to learn something new together.

The Internet has become the new library and study group, with kids using bandwidth intensive applications such as conducting research via online tutorials (51 per cent), collaborating via video conferencing (33 per cent), creating multi-media projects (30 per cent), and uploading podcasts (12 per cent).

Clever, aren’t they? The Internet has also enabled a level playing field for country kids, helping breakdown down barriers of different socio-economic groups.

“As kids head back to school, parents should avoid feeling the ‘techno-guilt’ that comes with monitoring screen-time,” says Children’s Technology and Brain Researcher, Dr Kristy Goodwin. “Instead, they should try to understand what content their kids are consuming online and not focus on how many hours they are spending on it.

“The nbn™ network will help enable our children to take advantage of online tools such as video tutorials and podcasts which have been shown to encourage creativity and help prepare our children for the digital workforce. Access to a fast and reliable home broadband connection will also help to ensure children’s screen-time can be maximised and isn’t wasted due to buffering.”

The nbn™ network is scheduled to reach almost one in four Australian homes and businesses by June 2016, with new construction work set to be complete or underway across 1500 communities and suburbs over the next 12 months.

There are currently more than 1.7 million premises around the country which can already connect to the nbn™ network, with every Australian set to have access by 2020.

Visit the nbn™ blog series to learn more about the how access to fast broadband is transforming the way Australians learn.

Here, Dr Kristy shares her tips for parents helping their kids using technology…

Don’t obsess about quantifying your child’s screen time
Screen time limits are important, but not the most critical factor to address how your child uses technology. Instead, focus on what your child’s doing when they’re online and ensure that this time is maximised by providing access to efficient and reliable broadband.

Use technology with your child where possible
Research confirms that co-viewing has educational benefits, whether you’re streaming TV or playing video games together. So help your child really learn in the lounge room by being present and interacting with them.

Prevent the ‘digital zombie effect’
Ask your child about what they’re doing, creating and communicating online; encourage your child to create digital content (such as multimedia slideshows, digital books, podcasts, or videos) in addition to consuming digital content, for example watching YouTube content, or downloading games.

Parents can learn too
Kids love teaching their parents! Remember your child might have more technical knowledge and skills than you do, but they don’t have the life skills and knowledge that you’ll necessarily have so work with them and learn from each other.

Written by Franki Hobson

Franki Hobson has worn many hats during her many years as a women's lifestyle journalist and editor. Her launching pad was COSMOPOLITAN magazine, where she moved from News & Entertainment Editor to Features Director, covering everything from the legalisation of the Morning After Pill to Gwen Stefani, fashion, beauty, sex, health, fitness, entertainment and relationships.

Franki Hobson is a contributing lifestyle writer for The Carousel.

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