Parents struggle with need for kid-tech roadmap -study

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NEW YORK— While parents recognize the undeniable role of technology in their kids’ lives, a new survey from Sprout reveals that an overwhelming majority need a roadmap to help navigate tech usage on a day-to-day basis. Sprout, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s 24-hour preschool network where kids are FREE TO GROW™, released the findings in conjunction with the upcoming premiere of new original series Dot., based on the book by bestselling author Randi Zuckerberg. The survey was conducted by Research Now and asked parents to share how they integrate tech into their families’ lives.

Dot., premiering October 22 at 11 AM ET on Sprout, is an animated series that helps teach digital citizenship and responsible tech usage. The show’s title character is an inquisitive, exuberant, tech-savvy eight-year-old girl who embarks on adventures to satisfy her imagination, curiosity and latest passion. Dot uses technology as a way to discover, explore and play, in keeping with the study findings that 62% of parents feel tech enhances their child’s development and learning.

Fielded in July 2016, the “Sprout Talks Tech” survey comprised a nationally representative sample of 700 modern families (with children ages two to six) who discussed their personal views and experiences with integrating tech into their families’ lives. Top findings include:

  • While the survey unveiled a predominant feeling of “tech shaming,” with 59% of parents feeling judged by other parents over their kids’ screen time, it also identified major upsides to technology.
  • Parents found technology increases their child’s curiosity about the environment around them (71%) and helps them explore the world by introducing them to new cultures (66%).
  • However, 92% of parents say they need information on how to navigate their kids’ relationship with tech, and 62% say they’ve argued with their kids about screen time.
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Bridging the Gap

Sprout hopes to bridge that gap with the introduction of Dot. and various other tools for parents:

  • The Do’s & Dots” YouTube series will teach kids tech best practices and address parents’ pain points on challenges such as sharing devices and giving back devices when their screen time is up.
  • Launch of which invites parents to take the survey quiz to see how they compare and to share how they are navigating the new tech reality.
  • Custom Dot. digital content on the Sprout Playground app including exclusive clips and tech resources for families

“Technology is woven into the fabric of our viewers’ everyday lives and through Dot., we saw an opportunity to model how it can be used as a valuable tool for parents and kids,” says Jennifer Giddens, SVP Marketing & Digital at Sprout. “We spoke to parents across the country to determine how we could serve as a resource and provide support for families to embrace, adapt and responsibly use technology. What we learned through this research is that parents are craving a roadmap, which we hope to provide through our marketing outreach and with the launch of Dot.”

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“I created Dot. to be a relatable character that helps educate parents and kids about the importance of balance when it comes to tech, and to empower girls to be vocal and involved in technology,” says Randi Zuckerberg, executive producer and creator of Dot. “Listening to parents speak on the lack of a roadmap on kids and tech use, it’s evident that this is the perfect time to bring Dot. to life on television and help spark the discussion.”

This is the first animated show for the New York Times best-selling author and Zuckerberg Media founder and CEO Randi Zuckerberg, who serves as executive producer along with Matthew Fernandes and Tammy Semen of Industrial Brothers and Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford of The Jim Henson Company. Dot. was born from Zuckerberg’s passion of motivating and inspiring young girls to develop an early love and appreciation for technology, math and sciences. The series is produced by Industrial Brothers (“Yup Yups,” “Gummandos”) in association with The Jim Henson Company (“Pajanimals,” “Dinosaur Train”) and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The Jim Henson Company handles all media rights for Dot. outside of Canada and all consumer products rights for the property worldwide. – PRNewswire

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