Academic journal article International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education

Empowering Children with Adaptive Technology Skills: Careful Engagement in the Digital Information Age

Academic journal article International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education

Empowering Children with Adaptive Technology Skills: Careful Engagement in the Digital Information Age

Article excerpt


The advances in technology in the 21st century entails that children are naturally growing within arenas of higher levels of information access. It is critical for children to adapt their capacity to get knowledge and to develop their skills through technology usage. The dynamics of technological revolution has both positive and negative effects. Studies have shown that it may potentially affect children negatively manifesting in aggressive behaviour, risky sexual attitude, and substance abuse. On the other hand, positive impact may include promoting empathy and acceptance of diversity through modelling prosocial behaviours (O'Keeffe & Clarke-Pearson, 2011). Since children feel inquisitive and would always like to inquire, and to reflect on what to do with information acquired, there is a need to provide considerable guidelines on technology use so as to support them their potential and capacities. It is noted that children face numerous risks as they interact on various social media platforms. For example, they grapple with drawing up a picture of emerging conceptions in their digital world and the philosophical struggles understanding their childhood experiences. This study posits a need in guiding children appropriately in facing the challenges in digital environment like cyber bullying, social media depression, accessing inappropriate content (Christensen & Aldridge, 2012). Furthermore, it is necessary to take into account that the need for protecting on media platforms is inextricably linked to children's rights protections.

The advocacy role relating to media influences, and the theoretical framework for protecting children will be examined by proposing a reference model for child adaptability to technology usage. This approach is preventive action, taking care when using technology in ways that can be applied through guiding and filtering issues and ideas coupled with organised and cautious parental involvement and counselling (Tirri & Husu, 2002). There is a need for paying serious attention to controlling their behavioural dependence on technology usage by ensuring parental involvement and taking care of the children's adaptation process on appropriate uses of technology (Buckingham, 2013a). There is also a need for collaboration between parents, practitioners, and policymakers so as to maximize prosocial aspects of social media for the appropriate development of children and adolescents. This approach can be achieved by well-designed guidelines which develops their skills to question, analyse and evaluate, whilst accessing information freely but under the control of their seniors (Buckingham, 2013b). Regardless of the challenges in nurturing an appropriate culture of technology use free from violating children's rights, children must be guided wisely in the way that makes them engage and reflect on the accessed information. This will allow them to be mindful of adult materials which can hamper their moral and cognitive development. The need to maximise benefits and reduce the harm emanating from the media and technology uses, has become a core point of discussion on how to utilize technologies as an attempt to empower children's adaptive technological skills.

In the light of the aforementioned, there is an urgent need to promote an empowerment process that takes care of the children and their natural growth within various digital media platforms. Thus, this paper aims to explore the attempt to empower the adaptive technology skills among children and their awareness about media technologies and influences.

Literature Review

Information Pattern in the Digital Era

In the digital era, information can spread fast around the world through digital devices and by creating machine-readable formats which users can easily get access to (Agichtein et al, 2008). There are many distinct features for which electronic messages can be transmitted. This includes social media which enables sharing of information and ideas thus generating databases into a form with particular interest in expression through virtual means. …

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