Technology and children: instructions for a 'happy' use (with mum and dad)

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Marie-Ange Demory
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Interview with Giovanni Bazzoni, CEO and co-founder of the Digital Tales company (http://www.dtales.com), a Del Paesena software house that also thinks of the little ones



Among the infinite pieces that make up, and fit together almost by magic, in the life of a child, today we certainly cannot ignore the presence of technology in everyday life.

But what value does it have in the experience of the little ones and, above all, can it contribute to making them happier? We asked Giovanni Bazzoni, CEO of the software house Digital Tales and veteran of the hi-tech world - on the thread of our challenge Thoughts of author.



"It is useless to deny it: the little ones today are all digital natives. Children, already around 3-4 years old, use their fingers with tools - now in daily use - such as the iPhone and all touch sensitive screens in a completely automatic and natural way, almost better than many adults ", says the CEO.

So, are all children happy to use new technologies?

"As a father, I believe it is important to follow a path together with the child, to guide him to the discovery of technology and to 'rule' this relationship.

With the spread of tablets, where it is enough to touch the surface to do things, consequently the age in which a child can approach the world of hi-tech has fallen. The ease of use is indisputable, of course you need to pay close attention to the contents. As for me, I play a lot, in a 'physical' and perhaps more traditional way with my son, but I think 10 minutes a day dedicated to an interactive fairy tale - and I'm not saying that because it's my job! - are a good opportunity ", underlines Giovanni Bazzoni.

(READ ALSO: Touch-screen generation)

Children and hi-tech in moderation ...

The fundamental question regarding the use of technologies concerns the contents, and not so much the tools: almost all children are now used to seeing and 'touching' with curiosity, already in early childhood, mobile phones, PCs or tablets. To support him with conviction is Giovanni Bazzoni who also tells us about his company's approach to products intended for children.



"Precisely from the point of view of the contents, we, as a software house, to develop, for example, the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood for iPad, our latest work, we relied on the feedback of a group of children. We immediately noticed that a everyone liked the repetition of certain actions very much.The wolf, for example, has a bubble on his nose that bursts if you touch it: the children kept touching it and had a lot of fun.

This is a typical aspect of the developmental age, the repetition of a new action indefinitely to take possession of it, which is presented, translated, also in the relationship between children and the use of technology.

In this case, the fairy tale is also a didactic tool and lends itself to different methods of use. It is possible, for example, to read and watch in a foreign language with older adults and, while having fun, absorb information. It is not cheap, explains the CEO. And he immediately adds to clarify his thought even better: The basic concept of this type of product for the youngest is that of edutainment, the term is the fusion of educational + entertainment = game with educational purposes.

In this sense, we can say that this edutainment category is the heir of what were once called educational games (and continue to exist). In the most classic or electronic form, this type of products offer an educational and fun experience to the child. Consequently, in a similar way to more traditional activities, the fundamental point is the choice of proposals by adults: Technology is not always and only 'Evil', it all depends on what is proposed to children, Giovanni Bazzoni underlines - personally I hate Facebook, I don't understand what need there is to show off my life to everyone, but that's not what the little ones need.



A graphic adventure, for example, designed to make math easier to digest, can help middle school kids tackle the subject. So while they play, they also solve real situations (the scooter has stopped and it is necessary to calculate how much fuel is needed). In the dimension of a game based on edutainment, where there are real problems, the simulated context allows you to acquire new skills in a fun way.

In the end, however, concludes our expert, it is important to never forget that no digital proposal, however useful and well done, can replace the relationship with the family.

"Of course, even such an application, which makes a subject like mathematics enjoyable, it should be used with adult guidance and assistance. Thus it can become a pleasant moment of sharing, another point of contact between parent and child.

In any case and situation, the child always desires attention from the mother or father and, any proposal from the digital universe, however valid, remains only a tool, it does not 'speak'. It just says what the programmer imagined ... Sharing an experience with mum and dad, on the other hand, can certainly (always) make a child happier.

Giovanni Bazzoni, CEO and co-founder of the Digital Tales company (www.dtales.com), specialized in the development of digital projects for the world of advertising, entertainment and education. An aeronautical engineer with a master's degree in business management from Bocconi, he has extensive experience in programming in the computer graphics and video games sector and a past as a researcher. Creator of digital worlds, he is a present and 'physical' dad who likes to play with his jewels, as he calls his children, Davide and Elena.

Read also

  • Semi-serious Decalogue on how to raise happy children (Bruno Tognolini, writer);

  • Ideas on the happiness of children (Anna Oliverio Ferraris);

  • Education is not one way, even the child educates the mother (Cristina Crippa, actress)

  • A child is happy if he learns the respect of others (Elisa Rigaudo, athlete)

Original article dated July 31, 2022

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TAG:
  • happiness
  • children and technology
  • 3-5 children years
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