Technology: Guidance for Families

Welcome

The age level recommendations listed under the Guidance by Age Level menu comprise what the School for Children believes to be best practices regarding child and family use of technology. The goal of this site is to give families a foundation for technology use at home and common ground for developmentally appropriate technology use. We respect that all families have different values and may choose to engage children differently with technology. These practices are intended as proactive guidance for families to help children develop positive media habits, though we acknowledge that they can feel reactive if similar structures have not been previously implemented at home.  

We encourage you to read these guidelines together at home and use them to create a technology agreement that suits your family.  We also strongly encourage you to discuss technology and media expectations with other families, especially those who host your child for play dates and overnights.  We hope you find these resources helpful. 

Our intention is that these practices are guidance for families, not stringent policy.

Early Childhood Resources

Fred Rogers Center
Staying true to the vision of Fred Rogers, and emulating the guiding principles of his life's work, the mission of the Fred Rogers Center is to advance the fields of early learning and children’s media by acting as a catalyst for communication, collaboration, and creative change.

National Association for the Education of Young Children
The National Association for the Education of Young Children is the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children.  NAEYC's mission is to serve and act on behalf of the needs, rights and well-being of all young children with primary focus on the provision of educational and developmental services and resources. 

Adolescent Resources

The Journal of Media Literacy Education
The Journal of Media Literacy Education is an online interdisciplinary journal that supports the development of research, scholarship and the pedagogy of media literacy education. The Journal provides a forum for established and emerging scholars, media professionals and educational practitioners in and out of schools. As an extended conceptualization of literacy, media literacy education helps individuals of all ages develop habits of inquiry and skills of expression needed to become critical thinkers, effective communicators and active citizens in a world where mass media, popular culture and digital technologies play an important role for individuals and society.

“Talking Back to Facebook” a book on Parenting in the Digital Age, by James P. Steyer
Now, more than ever, parents need help in navigating their kids' online, media-saturated lives. Jim Steyer, founder and CEO of Common Sense Media, the nation's leading kids and media organization, and the father of four children, knows that many parents and teachers—unlike their technology-savvy kids—may be tourists in the online world.

Resources for All Ages

American Academy of Pediatrics
America Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 pediatricians committed to the optimal physical, mental, and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.

Children Online
A comprehensive consulting company providing up-to-date information about the use and impact of technology on child and adolescent development.

Children’s Technology Review
Children's Technology Review is a monthly PDF newsletter — modeled in the spirit of Consumer Reports — designed to summarize products and trends in children’s interactive media.  

Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology.