New Report From the Silicon Valley Community Foundation Probes Tech Use Among Young Kids in Silicon Valley

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

New Report From the Silicon Valley Community Foundation Probes Tech Use Among Young Kids in Silicon Valley

Even in Silicon Valley, the epicenter of online innovation, families with young children are experiencing a digital divide. Hispanic families, in particular, saying that they experience slower connections, more data limits, and more broken computers and devices than their white and Asian-Pacific Islander counterparts. More than 80 percent of educators in the area’s high-need schools say that they are not assigning homework that uses digital media because they worry that families do not have access at home.

And mixed feelings about the benefits and harm of technology and digital media permeate the community.

Those are among the findings of a new report, Lost Connections in a World of Connectivity, from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation’s Center for Early Learning, with research support from  New America and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. The intent was to gather information that would help address questions of technology use, attitudes, and access among families with young children and educators in pre-K through third grade across the three counties of San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara.

Calling the topic a “natural fit for Silicon Valley,” the report suggests that community members and innovators should “lead the way in ensuring that digital media and technology designed for young children considers optimal child development and promotes, rather than hinders, equity in school readiness and learning.”

The report is the first in the country to look at young children’s technology use comprehensively at the local level, probing different parts of the early learning ecosystem within the same one-year time frame. It includes results from an online survey of 907 parents and 617 teachers and child care workers, focus groups with public librarians, and two “community conversations”—meetings hosted by the center to elicit comments and questions from parents and other family members. The survey cut across the early childhood age span, from birth through age 8, capturing information on how parents and teachers view technology in child care settings, pre-K and other early learning settings, and the early grades of elementary school.

To ensure that the study included families from a range of economic, racial, and ethnic backgrounds, survey respondents from the three counties were drawn from a national opt-in research panel that is designed to ensure representation of different socio-economic groups. The survey was conducted in Spanish and English...

Find More By

News type