A new study by the EU’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) has examined the way that young children, up to age 8, use technology. A key finding is that there is an increase in technology use by very young children, often despite the lack of a structured way for those children to develop necessary digital skills.
The study, which aims to fill in gaps of knowledge on technology use by children under age 9, highlighted that the parents’ digital skills often determined the digital skills of children. Children developed better digital skills when their parents had better skills.
Reinforcing the importance of structured development of ICT skills in the classroom, the report notes that young children are able to develop a broader range of digital skills and have a better understanding of the risks involved in using technology, when digital literacy is integrated in schools. In its conclusions, the report recommends that digital and media literacy are included in the curriculum from an early age.
More information on the study is available on the website of the European Commission.