Lessons in Learning – January 10, 2008
Series: Lessons in Learning
Authors: Canadian Council on Learning (CCL)
Collection: Research Materials
While new media can promote learning, it can also expose children to danger, including inappropriate sexual content and online bullying. Media literacy, for both parents and children, is vital for understanding new media and for ensuring that children’s exposure to the digital world is safe and enjoyable.
In this document, the authors offer suggestions to help parents support their children as they explore new media. They say that the most important thing parents can do is to lead by example, examining their own media use and behaving in a way they would feel comfortable having their children imitate.
As well, parents need to supervise and engage with their young children as they begin to use digital media. In this way parents can shield children from content that is inappropriate; explain material that their children may not fully understand; and challenge ideas and practices that conflict with their family’s values.
The authors note that rating systems and technological “quick fixes” such as filtering mechanisms on televisions or computer systems are less effective than a simple discussion between parents and children concerning new media and its messages.