Principles for the wise use of computers by children.

Curtin University of Technology, Perth, WA, Australia.
Ergonomics (Impact Factor: 1.61). 11/2009; 52(11):1386-401. DOI: 10.1080/00140130903067789
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Computer use by children at home and school is now common in many countries. Child computer exposure varies with the type of computer technology available and the child's age, gender and social group. This paper reviews the current exposure data and the evidence for positive and negative effects of computer use by children. Potential positive effects of computer use by children include enhanced cognitive development and school achievement, reduced barriers to social interaction, enhanced fine motor skills and visual processing and effective rehabilitation. Potential negative effects include threats to child safety, inappropriate content, exposure to violence, bullying, Internet 'addiction', displacement of moderate/vigorous physical activity, exposure to junk food advertising, sleep displacement, vision problems and musculoskeletal problems. The case for child specific evidence-based guidelines for wise use of computers is presented based on children using computers differently to adults, being physically, cognitively and socially different to adults, being in a state of change and development and the potential to impact on later adult risk. Progress towards child-specific guidelines is reported. Finally, a set of guideline principles is presented as the basis for more detailed guidelines on the physical, cognitive and social impact of computer use by children. The principles cover computer literacy, technology safety, child safety and privacy and appropriate social, cognitive and physical development. The majority of children in affluent communities now have substantial exposure to computers. This is likely to have significant effects on child physical, cognitive and social development. Ergonomics can provide and promote guidelines for wise use of computers by children and by doing so promote the positive effects and reduce the negative effects of computer-child, and subsequent computer-adult, interaction.

1 Bookmark
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This report introduces evidence for the conclusion that a common theme underlies almost all proposed solutions for improving the performance of K-12 students, namely their reliance on the design of educational system environments, features and operations. Two categories of design factors impacting such performance are addressed: (1) 10 factors reliably shown to have a strong influence; and (2) 10 factors with an equivocal or weak influence. It is concluded that: (1) student learning outcomes, and more broadly the edifice of education itself, are largely defined in terms of an extensive system of design factors and conditions; and (2) educators should emphasize allocation of resources to positive impact design factors.
    09/2011; 55(1):560-564. DOI:10.1177/1071181311551114
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Debates continue about the access young children have to technological devices, given the increasingly accessible and available technology in most developed countries. Concerns have been expressed by parents/caregivers and researchers, and questions have been raised about possible risks and benefits of these devices on young children who, in some instances, may be accessing these devices daily. Levin (2013) states that it is as if children are being remote controlled by the scripts of others (television, videos, electronic toys) which undermine children’s abilities to create their own learning scripts. This study investigated 1,058 parents’/caregivers’ views of their children’s (aged below 7 years) access and time spent on technology devices. Parents’/caregivers’ views on risks and benefits associated with the use of the emerging touch screen devices were also sought. The context for this research was Singapore which, according to a survey in 2012 by Ericsson, has one of the highest usage rates of smartphones and touchscreen devices in the world. The findings may help researchers, parents/caregivers and teachers to further their understanding of young children’s development in the twenty-first century.
    Early Childhood Education Journal 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10643-015-0695-4
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Children are an extremely vulnerable sector of society and are exposed to information and communication technology (ICT) usage risks without being given the proper tools they need to navigate this minefield. It is imperative that children are educated about all risks associated with the prolonged and improper usage of mobile phones and computers. These risks are not purely technological, but may also influence their physiological, psychological and sociological wellbeing. All four dimensions have to be considered holistically to ensure the safe usage of ICTs as well as engendering an e-safety culture among ICT users within the South African context. This paper primarily focuses on the protection of minors as end users (and possible victims) of ICTs. This entailed identifying the various stakeholders that should be involved in educating children about the risks in using ICTs and delineating their responsibility to inform and protect themselves and the children who are under their supervision. Given that educators at primary school level are the key role-players in disseminating e-safety information, this paper proposes a revision of extant curricula. The paper concludes by providing an overview of a possible framework to engender an e-safety culture among all relevant role-players and an application thereof.
    AFRICON 2013; 09/2013

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 31, 2014