Digital Children

We can easily say that we are living in a digital world. Information spreads faster than before through online means. For most adults it has become a standard way of life, but what about the children?

The British Office of Communication (Ofcom) has released a report about media use and attitude of children under the age of 15. It becomes quite clear that even younger children are daily connected to the Internet. Less through common means, such as a computer, but more often through smartphones and tablets. The latter doesn’t necessarily mean they all have their own tablet; they could easily use mum and dad’s.

Children spend their time online mostly on games or social media. Nothing new under the sun. However, seeing as children spend so much time online, it would pose an ideal situation to get them accustomed to online news media. Often, kids have no interest in current affairs. So especially for children who start secondary school, it would be a way to get them to learn more about the world around them.

At a certain point, every kid needs to do online research, which might obligate him or her to check out news sites. This is often in a very educational situation. If children learn to work with media in a fun situation at a younger age, they might pay more interest to it in their own time as well. Expecting them to watch daily news reports might be asking too much. Slowly and surely raising their awareness to (online) media might be a way to start.

Kids see the Internet as a means of entertainment and relaxation. Using that, you can create a ‘learning as you play’ context. In a world where digitalism is getting more and more important, well-informed children can only gain benefit from that at a later age.

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