By Anne Collier
A national survey found that 49% of parents with kids 12 and under are giving their children electronic gifts – cellphones, computers, music players, gameplayers, etc. – this holiday season, PBSKids.org reports about its survey. “Once these gifts are unwrapped, most parents say they plan to have rules and restrictions to help children stay safe online.” The survey found that 86% of parents “agree that teaching kids about Internet safety starts at home; 73% will put restrictions on the sites their kids can visit; and 68% will limit the time their kids can spend on their new devices. Check out PBS Kids’s Webonauts game and PBSParents.org for help with teaching kids responsible use of digital technology (as well as our Safety Tips & Advice page at ConnectSafely.org and Parents’ Guide to Facebook). The Public Broadcasting Service says technology can “present great educational opportunities if content is developmentally appropriate and based on research about how children learn best.” PBS cites a study of mobile apps for kids, which found “improved vocabulary as much as 31%” in children 3-7 who played PBSKids’ Martha Speaks Dog Party game for cellphones.