Research is key to helping children unlock their true potential

Children are online to an extent unparalleled by any previous generation. Many have the technical skills to use digital devices, but have not yet learned how to use the technology appropriately or safely.

According to Right from the Start, at age six, most children have experience using different devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops. 38 percent of children under the age of two are now using smartphones and tablets the way children eight and under were using them two years ago.

Like so many other aspects of a child’s life, children’s digital experiences, skills, interests, and use mature and evolve over time. At the same time, parents’ roles and approaches to monitoring, mediating, and guiding their children’s use of technology and digital behavior must also evolve and advance.

Given the dynamic nature of this relatively new digital life, research plays a critical role in helping to understand the challenges children will face, and to guide adults in helping children to shape their online identities and behaviors.