Children are more connected than ever before. They have access to tablets and smartphones before they learn to walk and talk. A new OECD report, Educating 21st Century Children: Emotional Well-Being in the Digital Age, examines modern childhood and looks specifically at the intersection between emotional well-being and new technologies.
In a new interview with CMRubinWorld, Tracey Burns, OECD analyst and author of the report, notes, “While some governments and parents respond by restricting access, these strategies can come at the cost of digital opportunity and skill development.” Burns says that digital citizenship is not just about building skills, it’s also about “actively and responsibly participating in the online world.” She emphasizes that parents and school communities need to adapt with technology as their children do, and also stay on top of the fast-moving technological advances. There is no going back given that children have access to technology before they learn to walk and talk. “Empowering our children to be active and empowered (digital) citizens is not an option: it is necessary to keep our children happy and healthy, both on and off line.”