Published: 20th May 2020
These special TikTok videos can help your kids stay engaged when stuck at home. Here's how
On the Top Parent app, parents can find TikTok videos to guide them with issues such as how to manage their child’s screen time or how to resolve constant petty conflicts among siblings while at home
Research shows that a majority of children in their early years grapple with poor learning outcomes. According to the Annual Status of Education Report-2019 (ASER), each year children are entering school with minimum school readiness, unable to read at grade level or solve basic math problems. With more than 250 million schoolchildren out of school due to COVID-19, the situation is likely to further worsen. To provide an effective solution to this, the Top Parent App — a first-of-its-kind mobile app to empower parents on child learning and development — was launched last month. Available free of cost to Android phone users, Top Parent equips families with language, strategies and high-quality EdTech resources to help children be ready for school and life.
The app creates engagement through videos, quiz and information on a child's learning levels and is a safe space for parents and children (ad-free). They have also partnered with TikTok, the video-sharing social networking service to focus on cultivating a safer community for its diverse user base by leveraging technology. "Children are spending most of their time at home and with their families amid the COVID-19 lockdown and so family engagement has become even more important given the circumstances. Early childhood development requires high engagement from parents — as educators, role models and mediators for learning. With the increasing penetration of smartphones and enhanced connectivity, technology has the potential to transform learning both at school and at home. In the current scenario, not just education but keeping children motivated is also a tall task for most parents. This is where the Top Parent app with TikTok videos steps in to support parents with ideas to ease their engagement journey," says Sashwati Banerjee, the founder of the Top Parent app.
Sashwati Banerjee, Founder, Top Parent
The app was developed after the team spoke to families across Delhi, Gurgaon and Bhopal and learnt that the majority of the parents don't feel capable enough to teach their children. The app uses an interactive, gamified and human-centric approach to reach a wider audience. "What if the parents do not have high-end devices? They can still use the app as it was made looking at concerns regarding storage space on devices, being operational on low-end smartphones etc. We have also incorporated explainer videos and audio cues to support parents who belong to a lower literacy group mainly in remote areas. There is also visual content on how parents can involve children in household chores that will in-turn teach them new skills. This is a tool to reach the most vulnerable in society," adds Sashwati.
On the Top Parent app, parents can find TikTok videos to guide them with issues such as how to manage their child’s screen time or how to resolve constant petty conflicts among siblings while they are at home. Giving a deeper insight into TikTok’s safety features, Arjun Narayan, Director, Trust and Safety TikTok, said, "We are highly invested in creating a safe and positive in-app environment for our users. Within the TikTok Safety Centre, parents can find information and resources to understand how they can help their teenager have the best experience with the app and community. Additionally, we have a host of safety features within the app that helps users stay in control of their presence on the platform."
TikTok has also incorporated artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques into their app to deal with safety protocols on the platform. They have an in-app reporting function where parents or adults can report content that they find objectionable. They also allow individuals aged over 13 years to access the platform and in case of an anomaly, users can report this too. "We are trying to provide granular control to users and not impose anything on them. For parents specifically, there's a section in the safety centre where they can control their child's screentime, the type of content they watch and more. Our aim is to promote digital well-being and provide solutions to protect your children on social media," adds Arjun.
Arjun Narayan, Director, Trust and Safety TikTok
The Top Parent app is currently available in Hindi and English as Sashwati explains to us that almost 52 per cent of the Indian population speak in Hindi and to reach their target audience these two languages work the best. "The app is in its initial stages, it's brand new so we will start producing it in other languages eventually," she adds.
Three things parents should do to keep their children safe on social media:
1. A parent should mediate content, be vigilant as to what their child is consuming on a daily basis
2. A parent should keep a track on how much time their child is spending on the screen — WHO suggests typically children should be allowed to watch for an hour at a stretch
3. As a parent, you should be aware of what kind of content you are sharing and promoting on social media