Educating 21st Century Children

Emotional Well-being in the Digital Age

image of Educating 21st Century Children

What is the nature of childhood today? On a number of measures, modern children’s lives have clearly improved thanks to better public safety and support for their physical and mental health. New technologies help children to learn, socialise and unwind, and older, better-educated parents are increasingly playing an active role in their children's education.

At the same time, we are more connected than ever before, and many children have access to tablets and smartphones before they learn to walk and talk. Twenty-first century children are more likely to be only children, increasingly pushed to do more by “helicopter parents” who hover over their children to protect them from potential harm. In addition to limitless online opportunities, the omnipresent nature of the digital world brings new risks, like cyber-bullying, that follow children from the schoolyard into their homes.

This report examines modern childhood, looking specifically at the intersection between emotional well-being and new technologies. It explores how parenting and friendships have changed in the digital age. It examines children as digital citizens, and how best to take advantage of online opportunities while minimising the risks. The volume ends with a look at how to foster digital literacy and resilience, highlighting the role of partnerships, policy and protection.



Building capacity: Teacher education and partnerships

As education systems increasingly respond to new societal, economic and digital needs, schools are on the front line of change. In order to respond to these changes, systems across the OECD are increasingly focusing on building capacity for their schools and teachers. Yet working with a diverse set of actors, some of whom (for example those from the private sector) have different aims and goals, is a complex challenge. This chapter focuses on two specific elements that are crucial to effective delivery of policy and practice: teacher education and partnerships. It provides a rich set of country examples of policies aimed at building teacher skills, focusing on the digital skills and emotional well-being of their students. It also highlights innovative cases of partnerships across the spectrum of actors, from families through to cybersecurity experts. It ends with an identification of some remaining challenges expressed by countries.


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