COFACE-Families Europe – January 2019 newsletter now published

COFACE-Families Europe has recently published the January 2019 edition of its newsletter.

Children and screens, UNAF, France

As digitalisation and exposure to screens grows within the family, parents play a key role in protecting and guiding their children's development. The French COFACE member organisation UNAF (Union Nationale des Associations Familiales) has launched a website to help families cope with the growing exposure to screens and its effects on families. It provides practical and up-to-date information and concrete tips and recommendations to parents with children aged 0 to 13 on how to adopt the best digital parenting practices. The website is called "My child and screens" (Mon enfant et les écrans).

This initiative is part of a broader nation-wide awareness-raising effort focused on screen time management: on Safer Internet Day (SID) 2019, French Safer Internet Centre (SIC) Internet Sans Crainte chose a theme of "Screens, others, and I" (Les écrans, les autres, et moi).

For more information, read the full article on the COFACE website and visit Mon enfant et les écrans (website in French).

Report for the European ICT Coalition for Children Online

The European ICT Coalition, an organisation gathering various stakeholders with the aim of helping younger internet users across Europe to make the most of the online world and deal with any potential challenges and risks, have commissioned and published a report on the latest trends and recommendations on children's online experience. The report is called "Looking forward: Technological and social change in the lives of European children and young people".

The key findings are as follow:

  • Parents of younger children struggle with identifying positive or educational content and services and with avoiding inappropriate or unsafe material.
  • Older children and parents struggle with the amount of time they each spend online and want tools and support to help ensure this time is well spent.
  • Parents and young people are both excited about and skeptical of the Internet of Things.
  • Parents and young people value the ease with which they can communicate using digital technologies, especially the greater freedom and peace-of-mind this can bring, but the ability to be constantly in touch also creates new pressures and anxieties.
  • Young people find ways of managing when they have difficult experiences online, but rarely do they turn to parents, teachers or industry (reporting inappropriate content or contact) as resources to deal with these difficulties.
  • Industry has been proactive in providing services, resources and programmes to help support children's safety online, from parental control tools to educational outreach. However, the impact of these initiatives and the uptake of tools are unclear.
  • Only a minority of children are engaging in creative digital opportunities, like producing their own content, either at home or at school, despite the fact that encouraging the development of digital media literacies (such as learning to code) and use of new technologies (such as 3D printing and VR), are popular amongst policy makers.
  • Despite teachers reporting basic challenges, such as lack of connectivity, equipment or training, some teachers are interested in utilizing and implementing the use of new and emerging creative technologies.
  • There is considerable confusion about why, in some countries, the adoption of the GDPR has led to a new digital age of consent. Young people (sometimes with parents' knowledge and support) easily circumvent age restrictions.

For further information, you may read the full report here and read the article on the COFACE website.

Additionally, read the full January 2019 edition of the COFACE newsletter for more information on issues affecting families in Europe.

* COFACE Families Europe has been involved for 60 years in building a strong social, family-friendly Europe. It brings forward the voice of millions of families, gathering 58 organisations from all over Europe. COFACE Families Europe advocates for strong social policies that take into consideration family needs and guarantee equal opportunities for all families. Find out more at www.coface-eu.org.


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