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Media consumption at home

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Leon plays Minecraft enthusiastically. Since he is not in school much at the moment and his parents work, he uses the time to watch a Minecraft tutorial to understand the game and its worlds even better.

Many children feel the same way as Leon: Chatting with friends, watching YouTube, listening to music or simply gambling - that's what they particularly like to do. And since they can only go to school to a limited extent at the moment, they have a lot more time at home and, for the most part, a lot more time to use digital media to spend their free time, keep in touch with friends and study for school.

That children are spending more time in front of screens at the moment is understandable and not yet a cause for concern or even self-reproach. Rather, it can be a good opportunity to use the time to talk about the "what" rather than the "how much." In other words, to engage in an exchange with the child about what he or she is doing, what his or her own perspective is, and what alternatives might look like. For example, what digital game they are playing or would like to play, find out about it together, let them show it to you and talk about what happens to their own emotions and body when they play.

Alternatives can also be games that convey learning content or that can be played together with friends. There is a wide range of great age-appropriate offers on TV, smartphones or consoles with which young people can have fun, but also discover the world and learn things. And thus use digital media bit by bit for many different purposes.

Nevertheless, it is important to pay attention to a healthy and wise combination. This also means that screen-free times should not be neglected. It is therefore advisable to jointly agree on rules or guidelines for the use of digital media and to offer alternatives. Fixed times for alternating between learning and free time as well as rest periods or for eating together are helpful here. Children often discover for themselves that it is important to take a break after playing on digital devices in order to compensate for pent-up emotions and lack of exercise.

The challenge of media consumption

For parents, media education of their children is and remains a special challenge, especially in the current times. The following overview therefore summarizes some general media education recommendations for parents:

Accompany children in media activities again and again and talk to them about the content of movies, series, YouTube videos and games
Agree rules for media use together with children
Have children watch factual programs, tutorials or similar and then write down/draw or record on their cell phones what they liked and took away with them
Support children or let them try out together how the cell phone, tablet or PC can be used creatively and actively, e.g., make and edit short videos, take and edit photos or start their own DIY projects with the help of tutorials Ensure that children get enough exercise in everyday life

In times when children toggle back and forth between little classroom time, free time, homeschooling and everyday family life, it is all the more important to maintain a certain rhythm and have rules that provide constant orientation. Rules that have been mutually agreed upon can always be an occasion for conversations that uncover problems and difficulties.

In this way, arguments are avoided and it is clear, for example, that Leon's computer game is followed by time together with friends or family, with sports or another form of play.

Read more in the "Digital learning" dossier.
/mediabase/img/cache/4993_740x740.jpg The importance of developing skills such as creativity and critical thinking is often stressed. Knowledge or competence?
/mediabase/img/cache/5232_740x740.jpg Teachtoday inspires and encourages cross-disciplinary and project-oriented knowledge transfer. Learning by trial and error

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To the instructions on the children’s page of Teachtoday

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