Saturday, September 14, 2013

Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology

(This is a longer read but at least worth scanning through the report)

Wondermonkey2k via Compfight cc

"In the popular press, much is made about how new digital technologies such as iPads and smartphones are revolutionizing family life. Children and parents alike now have a growing stream of new technological resources at their fingertips, offering increased opportunities for engagement, entertainment, and education. But while anecdotes about families and media abound, empirical evidence on national trends is much harder to come by.
This study explores how parents are incorporating new digital technologies (iPads, smartphones) as well as older media platforms (TV, video games, and computers) into their family lives and parenting practices:
• What does the family media and technology environment look like today?
• How widely have mobile media technologies been adopted? Are they making parents’ lives easier?
• How does the role of newer technologies compare to that of “traditional” platforms like television, or to other
technologies such as computers and video games?
• How do parents use media and technology as a parenting tool, to help them get things done, or to educate their
• What role do media and technology play in families’ “together” time?
• How do different parenting practices and parents’ own levels of media and technology use affect the use patterns of
children in the home?
The study focuses on families with young children an explores what is actually happening in the lives of real families, from all walks of life. It is based on an extensive survey of a nationally representative sample of more than 2,300 parents of children from birth to eight years old. (The complete survey questionnaire and results are provided in the appendix.) The survey was informed by a series of four focus groups among parents of young children, conducted in California and Illinois. While parents’ comments from the focus groups and from the survey are included throughout the report, the key findings and all numeric data in the report are based on the results of the quantitative national survey.

For children’s advocates, educators, public health groups, policymakers, and parents, it is important to have an accurate understanding of what families’ lives really look like. Thus the goal of the present report is to deepen and sharpen that understanding.



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