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17 October 2016

child using smart tabletChildren as young as two are accessing technology, and children as young as eight are active on social media, but how do we know and control what they are accessing?

UniSA School of Education Lecturer and child behaviour specialist, Dr Lesley-Anne Ey will be exploring this question and many others when she delivers the University of South Australia’s  annual de Lissa Oration on the 20th of October.

 “The rise of the internet and digital technology has embedded media in the routines and practices of children’s everyday lives,” Dr Ey says.

“This media provides children with many positive and beneficial opportunities to develop the skills required to function well within the 21st century, however some media content may place children at risk.

“I will be taking the opportunity in the de Lissa Oration to examine technology, media and children’s rights and examining the challenges for parents, educators, industry and government to provide effective regulation, reliable information and safe media content.

“It is essential for us all to discuss the rise of media technology, its impact on childrens’ media use, and the challenges we face ensuring children have positive experiences across the media they access.”

Current research in psychology suggests the leading cause of child and adolescent mental health decline is media and social media use and so Dr Ey is campaigning for a community approach to educate and support young childrens’ media use.

“Parents feel it is their responsibility to protect children from negative or potentially harmful media, however schools, industry and governments play an important role in educating children and preventing childrens’ access to potentially harmful media,” Dr Ey says.

 “We want children to have positive media experiences, so we need to address the challenges and the risks to make sure this happens.

“As a self-regulated industry, parents can find the reporting framework confusing, frustrating or disheartening- there is little faith in the system.”

As well as addressing some of the concerns and challenges Dr Ey will be providing thought provoking strategies to help better protect and educate children about media.

The de Lissa Oration is an annual event that takes place during Children's Week, and is named in honour of Lillian de Lissa, who was a world renowned early childhood educator and reformer whose significant work in South Australia and overseas has left a lasting legacy.

The de Lissa Oration 2016 will take place at the UniSA Magill campus Thursday 20 October from 5:30pm to 7:30pm to attend please register here.

Dr Lesley-Anne Ey lectures in educational psychology, social and emotional development and child protection at the University of South Australia. 

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