Living and Learning Well: A grown-ups guide to using technology with young children

La guía también está disponible en español a partir de la página 29.

Have you ever handed your phone to your child to keep them entertained while at a restaurant or the grocery store, or just so you have a few minutes to get dinner ready? Have you ever gone to the app store and scrolled through hundreds of apps, but had no idea which ones would be educational (or at least not harmful) for your child? If so, you are not alone.

Living and Learning Well in a Digital WorldOn behalf of the Center for Early Learning at Silicon Valley Community Foundation, I am honored to share this guide; Living and Learning Well in a Digital World with you. We surveyed and spoke to thousands of parents and educators in Silicon Valley about their use of technology with young children and we heard loud and clear the confusion they are facing. They wanted a resource that recognized that in today’s complex world of different household makeups – from multiple generations living under the same roof, to single parents working more than one job, to stay-at-home parents caring for multiple children all day long, to friends and relatives acting as a child’s primary caregiver – technology will be used with young children. They wanted guidance on how to teach themselves and their children to live and learn well in our highly digital world.

We partnered with Common Sense Media, the leading independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of media and technology, to create this resource.

We recognize that the confusion and challenges surrounding using technology with young children (for the purpose of this guide, from birth through age 8) vary widely depending on the child’s age, so we divided the guide into sections based on age brackets: 0-2, 3-5 and 6-8.

We tried to make it as practical as possible, with no judgement or guilt-tripping. We filled it with research-based tips, information and resources to give families, educators and other grown-ups the support they need to guide children safely while embracing today’s digital world. For example, the guide discusses, how to set expectations and create tech-free zones (page 9), potential warning signs of unhealthy media use (page 11) and online safety tips (page 20).

As a parent of two young children, I too struggle with navigating how to use technology with my kids. I hope this guide makes your navigation a little easier, as it has done for me!