Donna's cover image
Donna

Donna Cross

Year of Award: 2016 Award State: Western Australia None > Multimedia
Social Welfare > Children Care And Protection
The Nancy Fairfax Churchill Fellowship to enhance school and family awareness of young children's developmental needs in online environments - USA

Recommendations

This fellowship examined recent research, policy and practice to identify the positive and negative influences of technology use on children’s and adolescents’ cognitive, emotional and social development. 

Based on my Fellowship findings I offer the following recommendations:

  1. That I concur with other researchers that the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child include a general digital rights statement addressing ways to balance children’s protection with participation, including children’s access to digital environments, their rights online to engage in digital environments, and how the digital environment can be used to enact the rights of a child.
  2. That Australian organisations addressing children, adolescents and families’ health, education, social welfare and justice regularly review and keep their policies and recommendations regarding digital technology use evidence-based and current.
  3. That Australian research funding priorities include the conduct of longitudinal prevalence and empirical intervention research to better understand how the rapid uptake of digital technology (especially the use of touch screens by young children), children and adolescents helps and hurts their cognitive, emotional, social and physical development and learning.
  4. That Australian digital technology guidelines for parents and other adults who care for children and adolescents focus on the quality of screen use instead of only screen time.
  5. That children, adolescents and adult community members are actively involved as co-developers and co-researchers of Australian guidelines and tools to support the positive use of technology.
  6. That Australian parents and other adult caregivers, particularly those caring for very young children, are given opportunities to develop their digital technology-related skills to better support their own as well as their children’s positive use.
  7. That the Australian government, philanthropic organisations and corporations take a more proactive role in driving policy and practice that promotes the benefits and limits the challenges for children and adolescents engaging with digital technology.
  8. That local Australian governments encourage and enable community leadership to train digital mentors to build community capacity and raise the tide of awareness about ways to make the best use of digital technology for children’s development and learning.
  9. That the Australian government increase funding and other political support for digital technology education and regulation, particularly for parents and other carers to promote and protect young children’s early brain development.
  10. That the Australian government and the community seriously consider the effects of background television on young children’s learning, and actively campaign to encourage parents to turn off background TV when young children are present.
  11. That Australian parents and other adult caregivers intentionally use technology like a mirror (to reflect the user’s interests), a window (to see something beyond the room) or a magnifying glass (to more deeply explore something) and co-view digital devices with their children, to secure the greatest benefits for themselves and their children from its use.
  12. That families and settings such as schools ensure that children’s digital literacy skills and critical thinking in online environments are aligned with their developmental needs - to support their language development, facilitate social interactions, support their engagement and learning, and to allow them to create meaningful content.
Related fellows
Jessica Cocks, Jessica
Social Welfare > Children Care And Protection
2016
Toni Craig, Toni
Social Welfare > Children Care And Protection
2016
Phoebe Dixon, Phoebe
Social Welfare > Children Care And Protection
2016
Sharon Gough, Sharon
Social Welfare > Children Care And Protection
2016
Lauren Oliver, Lauren
Social Welfare > Children Care And Protection
2016
Narelle Dickinson, Narelle
Social Welfare > Children Care And Protection
2015
Melissa Kaltner, Melissa
Social Welfare > Children Care And Protection
2015
Simon Lewis, Simon
Social Welfare > Children Care And Protection
2015
Benjamin Martin, Benjamin
None > Multimedia
2015
Alasdair Roy OAM, Alasdair
Social Welfare > Children Care And Protection
2015