Children’s technology and learning expert, Dr. Kristy Goodwin
Children’s technology and learning expert, Dr. Kristy Goodwin

Is your child a digital zombie or next Apple genius?

ARE your kids 'digital zombies' or are they likely to be coding kings of tomorrow?

We all know kids are spending way more time online.

But what are they watching? Is it something that is actually going to help them get ahead?

Or just mindless entertainment.

The annual nbn Digital Parenting Report reveals most parents (74%) agree that digital skills and access to fast broadband (77 per cent) are key in order to best prepare their children for the future workforce, half (50%) worry their children are spending too much time online.

Children's technology and learning expert, Dr. Kristy Goodwin, says there is no doubt the online world has given students a 'world of resources' to help set them up for success.

"The reality is children will continue to spend more and more time online, so rather than burying their heads in the sand and trying to limit use of technology, I'd recommend parents try and prevent the 'digital zombie' effect by finding active ways for kids to engage with technology.

"For example, when students are coding, designing webpages, participating in educational chat forums, or producing a movie, their minds are actively involved which uses higher order thinking skills instead of just passively consuming content."

Honorary Fellow of the Re-Engineering Australia Foundation and STEM educator, Stephen Read said tech-related subjects should be at the forefront of education, both at home and at school.

"With one in two Australians predicted to need skills in programming and software development to remain competitive in the 2030 job market, increasing access to fast broadband will help to upskill and get students learning online more efficiently."

Key findings from the report include:

• Almost half (47 per cent) of students head online after school to collaborate with their classmates via video chat and more than half (57 per cent) of school aged children watch online tutorials to assist with homework.

• The number of parents who agree that using the internet for homework, research or educational games helps prepare children for the future is increasing (81 per cent compared with 76 per cent last year).

• Primary school aged children are spending 1.8 hours online for homework each weekday, this jumps to 3 hours per weekday when students reach high school.

• The majority (77 per cent) of parents think that high-speed internet is important at home to meet demands of school work and over half (57%) believe that quality internet access could impact their child's educational outcomes.

You can download the full report here

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