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Speaker

[SPEAKER] Children – and a Digital Age, for Reimagining Faith Formation

So, I’ll be presenting the following, via the medium of the internet, this morning, to a conference in Australia (in the hope of being there in person next year):

Children – and a Digital Age, for Reimagine Faith Formation from Bex Lewis
Categories
Digital Speaker

[SPEAKER] Raising Children in a Digital Age for @cicscalderdale

In about 90 minutes, I’ll be kicking off this talk in Halifax. Feel free to come and join me:

[HALIFAX] Raising Children and Young People in a Digital Age with @cicscalderdale from Bex Lewis
Categories
Digital Media & Press Media - Audio

[AUDIO] Chatting about Children & Gaming @PremierRadio

This morning was an opportunity to chat about a growing concern (but also a growing opportunity!) for many parents, especially as it’s half-term for many – what are healthy habits to undertake regarding your children and their gaming devices – there’s three segments for this (or listen to the whole Inspirational Breakfast programme on Premier Radio:

Chatting with Bex Lewis:

Chatting with Kelvin Whittaker

Chatting with Leanne Bell

Categories
Digital Media & Press Media - Text

Tomorrow is Safer Internet Day: Play your part for a better internet! #SID2016

Tuesday 9th February 2016 is Safer Internet Day, a global event first held in 2004, seeking to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people, with a theme this year of ‘Play your part for a better internet!’

raising-childrenI wrote Raising Children in a Digital Age in 2014 to encourage people to look beyond the many negative representations of young people and social media, and consider the opportunities to create a better, more positive, Internet experience for everyone, but particularly young people. Education in this area, for children, parents, and others involved in ‘raising children’, including teachers and youth workers, is far more important than shutting conversations down.

For many with responsibility for children, there is a certain amount of fear attached to the idea that children ‘know’ how to use the internet, that they ‘speak a different language’ and therefore we can’t interfere. Terms that have been coined, such as ‘digital natives’ or ‘net generation’, all perpetuate this idea that every child knows what they are doing online by reason of their age. A more useful idea has developed from a team at Oxford University: that of the “digital resident” and the “digital visitor”, defined more by attitude than by age. “Visitors” use the internet as a tool: go in to complete a task, and leave. “Residents” regard themselves as members of communities that exist online, rather than having access to an online toolbox. I am most definitely a digital resident, though I’m far too old to be a ‘digital native’, but the digital, as Martha Lane Fox quoted in the Dimbleby Lecture in 2015, is not optional: “It’s not OK not to understand the Internet anymore”.

The Internet in general offers access to a wide range of viewpoints, with opportunities to learn to distinguish between good and bad content, to make choices about what to engage in, developing “digital literacy” – a core skill in the Twenty-First Century. Peer pressure and bullying in particular can be challenged when families or groups use stories raised through digital media, allowing young people to identify and live out their core values, online and offline.

This morning, a brief mention appeared in February’s Youthwork magazine

raising-minimum-age-social-media

Categories
Digital

“Digital Natives lack online nous” says @Ofcom

A report was released by Ofcom yesterday into Children and Parents attitudes – and this was the accompanying press release (note, I’m not a particular fan of the term ‘digital native‘, especially the way that it’s used):

  • Children increasingly trusting of information they find online
  • One in ten believe everything they find on social media or apps is true
  • Most 12-15s unaware that ‘vloggers’ can be paid to endorse products

Children are becoming more trusting of what they see online, but sometimes lack the understanding to decide whether it is true or impartial.

Ofcom’s Children and Parents: Media and Attitudes report, published today, reveals that children aged 8-15 are spending more than twice as much time online as they did a decade ago, reaching over 15 hours each week in 2015.

But even for children who have grown up with the internet – so-called digital natives – there’s room to improve their digital know-how and understanding.

For example, children do not always question what they find online. One in five online 12-15s (19%) believe information returned by a search engine such as Google or Bing must be true, yet only a third of 12-15s (31%) are able to identify paid-for adverts in these results.

Nearly one in ten (8%) of all children aged 8-15 who go online believe information from social media websites or apps is “all true” – doubling from 4% in 2014.

Children are increasingly turning to YouTube for “true and accurate” information about what’s going on in the world. The video sharing site is the preferred choice for this kind of information among nearly one in ten (8%) online children, up from just 3% in 2014.

But only half of 12-15s (52%) who watch YouTube are aware that advertising is the main source of funding on the site, and less than half (47%) are aware that ‘vloggers’ (video bloggers) can be paid to endorse products or services.

James Thickett, Ofcom’s Director of Research, said: “The internet allows children to learn, discover different points of view and stay connected with friends and family. But these digital natives still need help to develop the know-how they need to navigate the online world.”

Children’s online lives

Children aged 12-15 were split about whether being online helped them be themselves, with around one third (34%) agreeing and a similar amount (35%) disagreeing. The remaining 31% were unsure whether being online helped them be themselves or not.

Most 12-15s (72%) believe that most people behave differently when they’re online, with girls more likely to say this happens than boys (78% versus 67%).

More than two thirds (67%) of girls aged 12-15 with a social media account said there were things they dislike about social media. Nearly one in three (30%) were concerned about people spreading gossip or rumours and a quarter (23%) said people can be “nasty, mean or unkind to others”.

This compared with just over half of boys aged 12-15 (52%) reporting things they dislike about social media.

Many children are also concerned about spending too much time on the internet. Around one in ten online children aged 8-15 (9%) say they dislike spending too much time online, and nearly one in three 12-15s (31%) admit they can sometimes spend too much time on social media in particular.

Parents’ role in online safety

More than nine in ten parents of 8-15s (92%) manage their children’s internet use in some way – either through technical tools, talking to or supervising their child, or setting rules about access to the internet and online behaviour. Nearly four in ten parents (38%) use all four approaches.

Among the technical tools used by parents are network-level content filters offered by broadband providers. Almost six in ten parents of 8-15s (56%) are aware of these parental controls, up from 50% in 2014, and a quarter (26%) use them, up from 21% in 2014.

It appears that the vast majority of children do hear the advice given about staying safe online. Some 97% of children aged 8-15 recall advice they’ve been given, particularly from parents.

The large majority (84%) of children aged 8-15 also say they would tell their parents, another family member or a teacher if they saw something online they found worrying, nasty or offensive. However, 6% of children say they would not tell anyone.

Download the full report (PDF). I’ll be adding this report, along with other articles I’m collecting on Wakelet, for when I’m ready to go onto edition 2 of Raising Children in a Digital Age