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Taking a break from social media might help one’s mental health

Adults between the ages of 18 and 72 who use social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok and Twitter daily found that a one week break from platforms saw improvements in their wellbeing. The study, published in May in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behaviour and Social Networking was conducted by researchers at the University of Bath. Over 150 participants were recruited and subsequently split into an intervention or control group. At the beginning of the…
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Inclusion and accountability – a call to ban permanent exclusions in primary schools

A report from the Commission on Young Lives argues that there should no longer be permanent exclusions in primary schools by 2026. Chaired by Anne Longfield, the former Children’s Commissioner, the report states “Over recent years, we have seen the growth of an exclusions culture that perversely rewards removing some vulnerable children from the school roll”.  The Commission has said children falling through gaps in the education system is “putting them at risk not only…
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Ofcom reveals latest online trends amongst young people and adults

Having published their annual report at the end of March, the UK’s communication’s regulator Ofcom presented finding this week looking at how how young people are using social media. They highlight the use of fake accounts on Instagram (known as ‘Finstas’), which are often used by children and teens as a decoy for their parents. In fact, Ofcom found two-thirds of the 8-11 year olds they spoke to had multiple social media accounts online and…
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5-year-olds show reading skills can be taught in a virtual environment

Research from the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences has found that young children can learn key reading skills in virtual learning environments alongside other children their age. The study consisted of a reading programme that lasted two weeks in an online reading camp, with 83 5-year-old children taking part in the study, and a control group of 33 children who did not take part. The reading programmes took place over Zoom,…
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UK Digital Poverty Alliance announces new funding to help support teachers

New funding for teachers from the Digital Poverty Alliance, Barclays Bank, Intel and the Learning Foundation has been announced to help tackle digital poverty. The campaign, Tech4Teachers, aims to provide 550 devices to teachers who do not have sufficient access to the internet, allowing teaching staff to give greater support to over 20,000 students across many disadvantaged communities. Alongside the devices, an online space will be made available for teachers who are a part of the…
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Future Play Design Challenge – Virtual Kick Off

Dr Barbie Clarke is pleased to be an expert judge for the CoC Playful Minds ‘Future Play Design Challenge 2022’. This year’s theme is “Ethically co-creating the next generation of sustainability & climate play together with children and families”. 🌱 Join the Virtual Kick Off Event and launch of the Challenge 2022 on 1 February 2022 at 3-5 PM CET. What’s in it for you? 💡 Be inspired 🔍 Meet the expert jury 💬 Hear case stories of former participants…
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Dr Barbie Clarke to chair the MRS Kids & Youth Research Conference 2022

Barbie is delighted to be chairing the annual MRS Kids & Youth Research conference on 20th January which explores the changing motivations, behaviours and aspirations of young consumers. Barbie will be speaking with Mikkel Holme, Digital Product Director at LEGO  at 10.35am about how children have managed during lockdown. Find out more about the conference here. #MRSLive.

With ‘The Big Ask’ children play key part in improving their future post-Covid

Children’s Commissioner for England Dame Rachel de Souza is launching a one-month campaign to help improve childhood. Between 19th April and 19th May, children across the country will be encouraged to participate in The Big Ask – an anonymous, national survey that focuses on ways to progress childhood in the years ahead. All children will have access to the survey through their school and via the Oak National Trust, where footballer Marcus Rashford will make…
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Scotland to become the first UK nation to incorporate Rights of the Child into domestic law

Scotland will soon become the first devolved nation in the UK to incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) directly into domestic law. Members of Scottish Parliament voted unanimously to pass the Bill, which will take six months to become law, as of Royal Assent. The passing of this Bill makes Scotland part of a very exclusive number of nations that have also incorporated the UNCRC into law such as…
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LEGO Ventures and CoC Playful Minds launch the Future Play Design Challenge

In partnership with LEGO Ventures, CoC Playful Minds has launched a global design challenge for entrepreneurs within the market of play and playful learning. The ‘Future Play Design Challenge’ aims to encourage and inspire entrepreneurs to practice ethical co-creation with children and involve them in design activities. In 2021, the theme is social digital play – a highly topical theme at a time when much of children’s social life and play must take place digitally. The…
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