Written by Jenna Herdzina, Policy Intern
This past October, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published their new guidelines on using digital media with young children, which had not been updated in 17 years. The TEC Center supported this much-needed update for families and practitioners due to AAP’s increased focus on helping parents learn how to curate high-quality digital media tools and join their children in using and exploring technology together. The AAP chose to leave guidelines on children’s time with media due to parents requests for time limits. However, it is difficult for many children and tech experts to set specific time limits on digital media use if children are using these tools to create, investigate and explore the world around them, especially in pro-social situations.
While evaluating the content of digital media with children, the critical elements to pay attention to are: engages, promotes creativity, encourages discovery, and can be explored together. There are so many activities and uses for technology in the early years. With the ever-expanding nature of technology, one cannot simply require or set limits based on time without considering the three C’s that Lisa Guernsey of New America has defined for us as the individual child and family, the content of the technology and the context. Below are some resources to help you think about and critique guidelines of screen time and digital media use for young children. Below you will find many resources including AAP’s main site with the policy statements laying out their new guidelines, Erikson Institute’s statement regarding these new guidelines, as well as blogs reacting to the practicality of them.
- AAP’s main site which provides all policy statements around technology use with children from birth through adolescence
- Erikson’s statement regarding AAP’s new recommendations for technology and young children
- Lisa Guernsey on The Beginning fo the End of the Screentime Wars featuring Chip Donohue via Slate
- Office of Educational Technology Guiding Principles for Use of Technology with Early Learners
- “How Dropping Screen Time Rules Can Fuel Extraordinary Learning” By Mimi Ito
- Sonia Livingstone on evidence surrounding AAP guidelines via Connected Learning Research Network
- Center on Media & Child Health Q & A’s
- “How to Make a Family Media Use Plan” (AAP)
- TEC Parent Survey: The prevalence of technology in the early years
- Incorporating these concepts into the STEM field by TEC Center