Bookmarked This Digital Home (Alannah and Madeline Foundation)

Family stories of connection during social isolation

The Digital Home project is a social research program examining the changing aspect of technology for Australian families in staying connected, informed and healthy through social isolation. The intent is to provide stories behind the numbers, such as ‘hours of screentime’ and ‘number of devices’.

This includes discussions of:

The associated also report provides a number of recommendations, including incorporating digital technology into considerations around policy decisions that impact families and recognising the rights of children in a digital age.

‘Supported by Facebook’, it is interesting to consider this alongside documentary The Social Dilemma and some of the criticism raised about technology solving its own problems.

Bookmarked TV is still a main player in the family home (Alannah and Madeline Foundation)

Despite the advent of all manner of phones, computers and smart devices, television still holds a significant place in the family home. Across all the responses, the presence of TV in family life was obvious, whether that was shared family viewing, parents checking in with their latest binge watch at the end of the day or as a central household screen upon which all manner of activities were screencast or tapped into by members of the household.

As a part of The Digital Home project, the Alannah and Madeline Foundation discuss the place of the television and how it is often separated from conversations around screen time:

Television, it seems, does not cause the same levels of conflict, guilt or stress in families that more recent devices do.

Television, of course, benefits from a long-standing, non-threatening place in the family home for generations, bringing with it a non-threatening familiarity that is not as apparent in newer devices.

One change has been around screencasting and the ability to share tutorials or presentations with a wider audience.

With little difference technologically between a tablet and a smart device, this is an interesting point in regards research into screen time, especially during such disrupted times.

Bookmarked The micro-interactions, touchpoints and connections of the digital home by Dan Donahoo (Alannah and Madeline Foundation)

This Digital Home demonstrates that families use technology to support frequent micro-interactions that we are calling ‘touchpoints’. The frequency and immediacy of these digital connections strengthen relationships and family bond.

As a part of The Digital Home project, Dan Donahoo unpacks the way in which technology has changed our means of communication making micro-interactions more doable.
Liked Screens in the Classroom: Tool or Temptation? (nytimes.com)

“If you are finding your students are being distracted on their cellphones or on laptops, you have to ask yourself: What am I doing in my teaching that is not engaging?” she said. “How can I give them opportunities to participate so they don’t feel the need to disappear down the rabbit hole?”

Replied to

Linda, your point about rigor reminds me of the recent piece by @LydiaDenworth on the need for more nuance and research
Liked Beyond Tech Addiction – Rebooting digital well-being in the wake of the “techlash” (points.datasociety.net)

However, limiting screen time is not a panacea. One of the challenges in trying to understand problematic tech use is the tendency for many studies to “flatten” a wide range of digital environments and behaviors into a single measure of screen time. In addition, the call to disengage from technology also raises questions about equity. After all, assumptions about the benefits and feasibility of disengaging from technology are largely rooted in an upper-middle class problem of abundance; these concerns may look dramatically different across the socioeconomic spectrum. To what degree could healthier technology designs account for these and other differences across various communities of users?

Liked Raising safe, digitally savvy kids in the ‘screen age’ requires a strategy (Women in the World)

Taking away access to these spaces, she said, is taking away what kids perceive as a human right. Gaming is like the proverbial water cooler for many boys, she said. And for many girls, social media can bring access to friends and stave off social isolation. “We all have to learn how to regulate our media consumption,” Ito said. “The longer you delay kids being able to use those muscles, the longer you delay kids learning how to regulate.”

Liked A Study of 1 Million Teenagers Reveals This Much Screen Time a Day Leads to the Happiest Kids (Inc.com)

The key is to not just say, but do. Offer more attractive alternatives. And don’t just encourage other activities; actually get involved. Do things your kids like to do. Take them places they like to go. Help them learn a sport. Help them learn to play an instrument.

Make it easy for friends to visit, and for them to visit friends — in real life, not virtually.

Via Glen Cochrane
Liked Screen Time by Tom Woodward (bionicteaching.com)

Screen time isn’t a single thing. It’s an insane range of things. There’s lots of screen time that is of Twinkie quality but there are many other options. If I read a book on a device is it screen time or is that reading? If I’m coding for an hour? Editing video? Video chat with my parents? When we reduce things to this extent we end up doing things that ignore the actual problem.