The Digital Divide: Does it Truly Exist Between Parents and Their Kids?

The term "digital divide" comes up frequently in discussions about kids and media use. It is commonly used to describe the differences between groups of people who use and know a lot about communication technologies – such as the internet, smartphones and tablets – and those who do not. The term can also be used to describe those who choose to use these technologies versus those who choose not to.

Many people assume, and the popular press has fueled the notion, that there is a growing digital divide between parents and children. For example, many of us have heard parents quip, "If you have a question about technology, ask your kids."

But is there really a digital divide between parents and children? And more importantly, is children's increased media use having a detrimental effect on their achievement or contributing to increased behavior problems? The surprising results of new research indicate the answers to both of these questions may be, "not really."

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Use Extreme Caution: Electronic Media with Children Under 2 Years

Surveys have found that 90 percent of parents report their children under 2 watch some form of electronic media. Young children's use of portable media devices has become so commonplace that it is hard to go out in public these days without seeing a very young child using a parent's smart phone, tablet or other electronic device.

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eBooks Blend the Best of Technology and the Written Word

As hardback and paperback books begin to pile up in your child's playroom, consider an alternative to physical books that could bring your children new adventures in the world of reading. Using eBooks, children are able to download thousands of titles through the Central Arkansas Library System's (CALS) website at cals.org. Though CALS does not offer the reading devices, they encourage reading in any form and have a few easy tips to help your child read eBooks and listen to audiobooks.

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We've got an app for that! Be on the lookout for our new MyACH iPhone app, offering another way to access Arkansas Children's Hospital right at your fingertips.

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When a child has a fever, things can get scary fast. But much of the time a fever doesn't warrant panic. Dr. Bryan Burke of Arkansas Children's Hospital dispels some fever myths in this video, and also helps new parents understand that babies under 2 months need to be watched closely for fever.

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What was once limited to playgrounds and school bus rides has mutated via today's technology into something much more sinister and pervasive. Cyberbullying is the new buzzword, gaining attention through media reports and catching the eyes of people ranging from state politicians to high school principals. It is easy to chalk all the noise up to media dramatics, but when we start breaking down the real numbers, the data speaks for itself.

»Learn more about Bullying