A digital divide in how children use devices

is worrying researchers

A study reveals the average 8-year-old is spending too much time on devices, with concern most are passively using them for entertainment instead of education. Sarah Catherall reports.

Five-year-olds are turning up to school speaking with American accents.

When the teachers ask them if they’ve been overseas, that’s not the case: they’ve watched so much Netflix or YouTube that they’ve started talking with an American drawl.

It’s one of the consequences of primary school-aged kids being on screens at home that Paul Cartlidge, the principal of Waimate Main School in rural Canterbury reels off when asked about a new study showing how often eight-year-olds are on screens for recreational purposes.

The Growing Up in New Zealand study based on a cohort of almost 60 eight-year-olds found they were on screens for an average of three hours a day (not including time at school), exceeding Ministry of Health guidelines of two hours of passive screen time for five to 17-year-olds; 27% used a screen every day for gaming, while 40% watched TV, videos or movies daily. The actual time spent doing these activities wasn’t calculated.

Link to video and article: A digital divide in how children use devices is worrying researchers | Stuff.co.nz


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