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Children’s screen-time guidelines too restrictive

...moderate screen-use above the recommended limits might actually be linked to slightly higher levels of children’s wellbeing.

Lead author Dr Andrew Pryzbylski, of the Oxford Internet Institute, said: ‘Taken together, our findings suggest that there is little or no support for the theory that digital screen use, on its own, is bad for young children’s psychological wellbeing.

‘If anything, our findings suggest the broader family context, how parents set rules about digital screen time, and if they’re actively engaged in exploring the digital world together, are more important than the raw screen time. Future research should focus on how using digital devices with parents or care-givers and turning it into a social time can effect children’s psychological wellbeing, curiosity, and the bonds with the caregiver involved.’


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Kucirkova on self-reading children’s books

For Kucirkova, improving digital books is a matter of “social justice”. “Unfortunately, many digital books are of really low quality,” she said. “We mustn’t forget that there are many families where reading is not an activity that adults enjoy and they might not enjoy it with their children. So in those families, having a book that reads to the child is a huge asset. At the very least, we need to equalize the quality of the two formats.”

“I’m not saying that the digital book can ever replace the loving adult. I’m just saying that it can be a good substitute if there is nothing else,” she added.


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YouTube Panoply

The other day, I was spending time with a young niece – still a toddler – while she watched videos on her iPad. She was working her way through a YouTube playlist – in each video, a pair of hands opened a Kinder Surprise and assembled the toy inside. Thinking I was doing her a favour, I made the video full-screen. But this sent my niece into a panic. "Little TV!" she insisted. "Not big TV!" She needed the smaller screen format so as to monitor the lineup of videos still to come. Focusing, even for a minute, on a single video was no good. She needed the panoply, the stream, the comfort of attending entertainments.


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Yuill & Martin on children in ‘head-down’ position

When children read from a screen, they tended to hold the tablet in a ‘head-down’ posture typical of solo uses [...] leading [the mothers] to curl round behind the child in order to ‘shoulder-surf’ the screen, rather than adopting the ‘curled-up’ position common when reading the paper book.