Tech Shock: Tim Gill on the importance of play
In this week’s episode of the Tech Shock podcast Geraldine speaks to Tim Gill, consultant and advocate for children’s play, and the author of Urban Playground and No Fear. They discuss the importance of play for children and how tech has impacted this.
“Play is an expression of their human desire for competence and a sense of agency,” says Gill. “Through playing, children come to understand important insights about the world and their place in it. There’s far too little exploration of the interplay between children’s digital lives and their real-world lives.”
Gill believes children have moved into digital spaces, particularly – but not exclusively – due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. “Children’s immersion in the digital world is a reflection of the growing restrictions they face in the real world,” he says.
If that immersion in digital spaces brings risks - as well as opportunities - this is something crucial for children.
“Our well-meaning attempts to protect children from harm can sometimes lead us to starve them from the very experiences that help prepare them for a complex world,” he says. “We have to recognise that part of a good, balanced approach is for children to go beyond their comfort zones, to learn how things might go wrong and what to do in tricky situations.”