Screen time and digital technology use: how it helps with learning
When balanced with other activities, screen time can be good for your child’s learning and development. This can happen when your child:
- uses age-appropriate, good-quality media – for example, when your child plays a video game that involves critical or creative thinking
- has a purpose in mind when using digital technology – for example, when your child goes online to find instructions for a craft activity
- gets new ideas for traditional play from screen time – for example, when playing Minecraft gets your child interested in designing buildings with boxes, glue and paper
- uses digital technology to connect with people they know – for example, when your child talks with family using video-chat or plays multi-player games with friends
- produces content rather than just consuming it – for example, when your child writes a blog, uses an app to create music, or films and edits short movies.
Quality is key. Read more about good apps, TV, movies and YouTube for preschoolers, good apps, TV, movies and YouTube for school-age children and good apps, TV, movies and YouTube for teenagers.
Using screen time to develop new skills
Screen time and digital technology use can help your child develop:
- digital skills – for example, by learning video-editing skills through doing a video about a school excursion
- creative skills – for example, by drawing, or creating content like video clips, animations or comics
- problem-solving skills – for example, by working out the most appropriate clothes for online characters to wear in rainy weather, or working on coding projects that require experimentation
- communication skills – for example, by learning another language or chatting to friends or relatives on a video call
- social skills – for example, by playing games that involve turn-taking, or playing as part of a team
- goal-setting skills – for example, by wearing fitness trackers to set physical activity goals and track progress
- care skills – for example, by playing with digital toys that need to be looked after and nurtured, like Tamagotchi or Furby.