The Three C’s of Screen Time

In the digital world, screen media are combined into one. Laptops, smartphones and tablets function as music and video players, recorders, maps, books, games, and cameras. With access to one device, children have access to all its applications. While parents have to determine what technology means to family life, early care providers and educators determine how digital media relates to what children want to learn and need to learn.

Lisa Guernsey, Director, Early Education Initiative at New America Foundation, outlined The Three Cs - Content, Context, Child - as a guideline to help providers, and parents, understand how to introduce high-quality, age-appropriate media as a springboard for co-learning and co-exploration. The key points are to:

  • Find content that is developmentally appropriate and educational
  • Provide a context that promotes learning and conversation
  • Consider the needs of each individual child

Let’s explore The Three C’s and see how to use media to build positive learning experiences.