Episode 5: Vanguards4change Founder Cathryn Anila on the importance of internet for children

“If you ask children what the internet offers,” Cathryn Anila says, “One main opportunity would be freedom, the freedom to express yourself and to gain knowledge.” Similar to the U.S., schools in Malaysia have been closed for a few weeks. We are speaking today with child rights advocate Cathryn Anila about why the internet is important to kids and how this moment is an opportunity to focus on relationships and experiences online. We discuss how the online and offline worlds are no longer separate. Cathryn offers tips for staying safe online and using the time at home to strengthen relationships and promote empowerment.

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Episode 4: Digital media researcher Mary Madden on realities of parenting during school closures

According to UNESCO, 1.5 billion, or 9 in 10 children globally are out of school. How are parents navigating working from home while schooling their children? Between virtual music lessons and Zoom circle groups, parents and kids are trying to create a new normal in a time that’s anything but. Parent and youth digital media expert Mary Madden offers insights into providing space for parents and kids to embrace this moment’s mix of opportunity and challenge. Join her discussion with Monica Bulger about screentime, gaming apps, and time away from tech. Madden recommends flexibility: “This is a time where so many structures we had relied on in daily life are being upended. We’re having to be flexible in our jobs and our communities, it’s important to acknowledge and give ourselves some grace and leeway to be flexible in our families as well.”

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Episode 3: Child rights experts Emma Day and Patrick Burton discuss keeping children safe in the time of COVID-19 [March 28, 2020]

Child rights experts Emma Day and Patrick Burton share concerns about the conditions children suddenly find themselves in with school closures. In addition to the learning impacts of school closures, they urge consideration of the risks of increased violence and abuse for children. At the moment, there is no backup strategy to address the sudden loss of health and social services provided by schools for children. Homes may not be safe spaces, making those vulnerable to abuse more vulnerable.

The current situation shines a light on the lack of funding into health systems around the world. While child rights experts and NGOs have advocated for more funding and resources for years and have not been heard, suddenly, millions, billions, even trillions are now being made available to strengthen support and response systems in many countries around the world. If child well-being can be brought to the fore in this moment, this tragic pandemic can result in strengthening the social welfare systems and education systems that are part of managing and mitigating this global crisis and keeping children safe.

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Episode 2: Dr. Cristobal Cobo and Professor Neil Selwyn ask “Should we stop the clock on education?” [March 17, 2020]

Join globally renowned education technology experts Dr. Cristobal Cobo and Professor Neil Selwyn in a discussion with Dr. Monica Bulger about the abrupt shift to online learning as schools close globally in response to the coronavirus. Neil Selwyn advises edtech companies to not see this moment as a triumph, “it is an emergency, not an experiment.” Cristobal Cobo discusses the tools we bring to this crisis and recommends considering short-term and long-term approaches.

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Episode 1: Prof Vikki Katz warns of hardships school closures will create for students & families. [March 16, 2020]

“The burdens are going to be born by the students who are least capable of bearing them.” Join Dr. Monica Bulger for a discussion with Professor Vikki Katz of Rutgers University as we urge consideration of the impacts school closures will have on students and families. Listen to Vikki’s ABCD recommendations for considering families’ limited resources as schools quickly shift to online learning.

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