Quality Digital Media Checklist

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A Checklist of Questions to Ask:
How to identify “quality” digital media experiences for young children


Head Start Program
July 12, 2016
Eyes on the Future Child Development Center, Chicago

1. How interactive is the digital media?

Media Mentor Tip: Find a book both video-chat participants have access to and read it during the next video-chat session.

2. Are the images, messages, and sounds that children are exposed to age-appropriate?

Media Mentor Tip: Check and set safe and restricted access. Be mindful of the language level, ads, positivity, violence & scariness.

3. Are the images and sounds culturally sensitive?

Media Mentor Tip: Choose eBooks, movies, shows, and apps that offer multicultural views, represent characters similar to and different from the child in regards to race, gender, abilities, class, language, traditions, and nontraditional family structures. Kidmap has several resources to help identify inclusive media, apps and tech tools.

4. Is a young child watching or playing alone, with family members, or with peers?

Media Mentor Tip: Make watching and using media a social experience even if you can’t be with your child while they are watching or using media.

Ask the child questions such as:

  • “Which character do you like the most and why?”
  • “Why do you think this character did that?”
  • “If you were this character, what would you do?”
  • “Can you show me how to play?”

5. How does the “when” and “where” affect the child?

Media Mentor Tip: Be mindful of screens in the house, classroom, restaurants, and car etc. Determine a place in your home where each member of the family puts your digital devices to sleep an hour before bedtime.

Check out some tips on selecting and curating apps for young children here.

Find 5 things you should know about “screen time” and media use with young children here.