Screen time – a sudden shift in perceptions
by Fonetti Comms Team on 20th April 2020
Screen time – a sudden shift in perceptions
The recommended daily screen time allowance for children is an hour per day (based on the World Health Organisation guidelines issued in 2019). Easily manageable when you take nursery/school hours and outdoor activities into the equation. That is until one little word introduces itself: Lockdown. If there was ever a metaphorical rule breaker, tempting us all – lockdown is it.
As adults, let’s consider our own screen time use. Pre-lockdown it would probably have been high but during lockdown it’s potentially doubled. Zoom is no longer a word we see in the pages of a picture book at bedtime, it’s a verb we use daily and a virtual ticket that connects us to colleagues, friends and family via a screen. Smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs become our focus out of necessity and our children are no exception.
Screen time used to be viewed as ‘lazy-parenting’ and was seen as an ‘easy option’ to entertain, frowned upon by many. But in a world where technology offers our safest way of communicating, keeping in touch and educating ourselves, perceptions are changing daily. Screen time is being embraced and the positives are being explored, for some for the first time.
Educators are way ahead of us. They know the positive powers of screen time and are already taking advantage of technology as a teaching resource. With four in 10 British children predicted to own a tablet before their 6th birthday it’s clear that screen time is becoming habitual in a large percentage of homes. Our children are a generation of ‘digital-natives’ who adapt to technology instinctively. All sounding positive so far isn’t it? But what about the guilt?
“As a busy mum of 3, I am guilty, as I’m sure many others are, of using screen time as a babysitter in order to get jobs done. However, it’s not all bad, I have noticed a marked improvement in my two-year-old’s vocabulary from the educational games that he has been playing.”,
Chloe Smith (Mother and Primary School Teacher)
Many parents feel guilty for using screen-time. They believe it will make their children anti-social, damage their eyesight and lure them away from traditional methods of learning. But feelings of guilt should actually be replaced by gratitude. Screen time can enhance learning rather than hinder it.
Just as the world is changing rapidly, so are the perceptions of screen time. In fact in their 2019 screen time study The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health shows that social media has more of a negative impact on an individual rather than the use of the device itself. They recommend that screen time use with digital devices should be made on a case-by-case basis within families rather than a general limit based on age.
It’s time to turn the spotlight on the advantages of screen-based technology
When used effectively, screen time can be hugely beneficial to a child’s development. It:
- Encourages independent learning
- Connects students directly to schools and syllabus
- Improves cognitive skills
- Develops motor skills and co-ordination
- Nurtures life-skills such as email comms, coding and video conferencing
- Provides access to educational tools and resources
So where does Fonetti fit-in?
Quite simply, Fonetti injects fun into screen time. Accredited by The Department for Education’s Hungry Little Minds Campaign, Fonetti is an approved platform, and a safe place, for children to practice their reading. With Fonetti screen time and story time merge into one with a little bit of magic and many benefits including:
- Building confidence: There’s no fear of reading aloud or peer pressure. With Fonetti children can read independently without the need of a grown-up (great news for parents working from home). If children stumble on certain words, they just double tap for hints and help – it couldn’t be simpler.
- Entertaining all abilities: We have a range of reading levels to suit every reader and that works alongside the National Curriculum. Our library is constantly evolving with new titles added daily ready for eager readers to jump in and enjoy a new adventure.
- Supports children learning English as a second language: Fonetti recognises a child’s speech patterns regardless of dialect, accent or native tongue, making it the ideal learning platform for those learning English as a second language
- Provides encouragement: Think of Fonetti as a virtual high-five, as the pages turn, the fanfares, prizes and encouragement begin
- Keeps parents in the loop: If children use the app at home, you’ll be notified weekly of their child’s progress – we’ll email you to tell you how much time your child has spent reading, which books they’ve finished, which words they’ve struggled with and if they’ve progressed from one reading level to another.
We’re the world’s first listening bookshop. And we’re the only platform that listens to children while they read, that recognises their speech regardless of dialect, accent or native tongue. You could say, at the moment, we’re the teaching assistant available to every home and the technology behind interactive reading. And we’re building confidence on an hourly basis…or however long your children choose to interact with us.
Screen time is a personal choice. The results of screen time resources are fact. Using some of your child’s screen time allowance on Fonetti will benefit them more than playing on their games console. It still entertains, feeds their imagination and gives them valuable life-skills as well as nurturing a love of reading.
We’re sharing this experience together. The fears, the frustrations, the pain. The pride, the gratitude and the love. We’re sharing our space, our time and our skills. We’re sharing our screens. We’re sharing our stories. And there has never been a better time. #Fonetti
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