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Kids and Screens…the Debate Continues

Common Sense Media has released a new report on children’s media use, The Common Sense Census: Media Use by Kids Age Zero to Eight 2017, which sheds light on the amount of time children spend with media and the types of screens and content they are using. The study shows a dramatic increase in kids’ mobile media use and access over the past few years, with 98% living in a home with some type of mobile device, the same percentage that have a TV in the home; kids’ time spent with mobile media has tripled and ownership of tablets by kids themselves is up to 42%. As access to technology continues to increase, the concern has turned more to the content on children’s screens over the amount of time they’re spending with media.

Not all screen time is created equal – research-backed, educational content is crucial. The more a child engages with educational content across platforms – TV, digital, and off-screen – the more he or she will learn. This isn’t to say there shouldn’t be limits — each child will have their own needs when it comes to screen time and learning. Parents need to be proactive in talking to their kids about what they are learning and engaging with on screens. Media should ultimately inspire kids to want to keep exploring beyond the screen – using it as a jumping-off point for passion-driven learning.

At KET, we want to do all that we can to provide the resources to help families harness screen time for learning. This is especially critical in areas of our state where Kindergarten readiness is below 30%. For these children, KET provides an essential service by offering educational TV programming, digital, and, hands-on resources that are proven to boost kids’ learning.

KET is making great strides reaching children in underserved communities. Our Ruff Ruffman Family Creative Learning workshops and camps are just one of the ways we are getting kids and caregivers to spend time learning S.T.E.M. concepts together.

As media habits continue to evolve, KET will work in partnership with parents, teachers, and organizations to make the most of children’s media time, serving all of America’s families by providing content from PBS, the number-one children’s educational media brand.

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