Talking to your kids about technology – can you Crack The Code?

Technology has transformed the world. For many people, it has opened up countless new possibilities, new relationships and new skills,  but for some, it is an unknown entity and something to be feared.

We wanted to understand how parents see their kids’ relationship with technology and whether they felt it could lead to better job opportunities or on the contrary, act as a barrier to relationships, so we asked them.

Our research* revealed that almost half of British parents (44 per cent) now believe it’s more important for their children to learn to code than to learn a foreign language at school. Even more surprisingly, a third believe that coding is a more valuable use of their children’s time than the study of English Literature.

Given the rapid growth of jobs in areas such as Web Development and the fact that the UK is facing a digital skills crisis – that may see 745,000 more digital-workers required in 2017 alone – it is encouraging to see a shifting perception among parents on the value of computer skills.

Whilst it’s promising to see that parents appreciate the importance of coding in addressing this skills crisis, nine out of ten are worrying about what their kids are getting up to online, and nearly half are concerned about the amount of time they spend on their mobiles, tablets and other devices.

This clear conflict of emotions – where on the one hand parents stress the importance of digital skills, but on the other have a strong desire to protect their child online has emerged clearly from the research. What is equally clear is that it’s an issue that needs to be addressed.

Wanting to protect your kids is natural. And much of parent’s anxiety stems from a lack of understanding of this alien world their child exists in or just dismissing technology because they perceive it stops them from having a better relationship.

To help them we’ve teamed up with Lorraine Thomas of the Parent Coaching Academy to tackle this problem and promote a healthy use of technology among families. Together with Lorraine and two digi-teens, we have produced a free online mini-module to educate parents about how to talk to their children about the use of technology and the internet.

Commenting on this need for a more open dialogue within families when it comes to the use of technology, Lorraine said: “As parents, it is essential to create a strong, positive family ethos when it comes to technology.  We need to be talking regularly to our children about the opportunities and risks that technology has brought into our lives.”

Through this course, we hope to show parents how technology can become a positive part of the home, showing you how to develop useful education, smart use, open conversation, and an understanding of your children’s online habits.

See if you can Crack The Code yourself and head over to the free module here. All you need to do is sign up in a few easy steps https://openclassrooms.com/courses/crack-the-code

*Research conducted by Censuswide, which polled 1,012 UK adults in October / November 2016 and 1,003 parents with children aged 5-18.

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