🎧 Toddlers and teens – better understanding their digital needs

Listened Toddlers and teens – better understanding their digital needs from ABC Radio National

β€œPlaying IT Safe” is a new resource to help pre-school children better understand the workings of the digital world. It also gives parents a way to structure the conversations they need to have around cyber safety.

We also examine a pilot program for teenagers called Digital Compass. It’s been co-designed with Australian school students to help them as they navigate the challenges and ambiguities of our digital evolution.


Professor Susan Edwards – Research Director, Early Childhood Futures, Australian Catholic University

Daniel Donahoo – Senior Advisor, Innovation and Development, Alannah & Madeline Foundation

Professor Susan Danby – Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child, Queensland University of Technology

Sheridan Hartley – Program Director, Behavioural Insight Team

In this episode of RN Future Tense, Antony Funnell dives into a range of initiatives currently being developed by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation to help children make better use of the digital world.

The first program is Playing It Safe. Dan Donahoo explains how the online portal was developed to help parents and care-givers to start the conversation about digital technologies and online safety at an early age. This was designed in response to Early Childhood Australia’s Statement on young children and digital technologies.

The ECA Statement on young children and digital technologies was developed in response to an identified need for guidance for early childhood professionals on the role and optimal use of digital technologies with, by and for young children in early childhood education and care settings. This need has grown as children are increasingly growing up in digital contexts.

The intent of Playing It Safe is to explore the key concepts of relationships, well-being, citizenship and play and learning at their age of development. One of the activities within Playing It Safe is the creation of an explicit family technology plan.

The second program is Digital Compass. It is an application that has been designed to help teens to identify what they can do, rather than what they can’t do. It has been designed to be platform agnostic and focuses on building ethical prosocial activities.

Coming at the problem from the perspective of research, Susan Edward and Susan Danby talk about longitudinal studies they are a part of to take the conversation beyond discussions ‘screentime‘ and ‘digital natives‘ and capture a deeper appreciation of digital literacies within family life.

5 responses on “🎧 Toddlers and teens – better understanding their digital needs”


  • Antony J Funnell

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