New podcast brings leading research on kids and tech to the mainstream

Screen Time
Published: 10 March 2022

It’s one of the most pressing questions for researchers and families today: How are children affected by digital technology? Parents, caregivers, experts and policymakers are struggling to understand what’s best for kids online in an effort to keep up with the rapid pace and scale of technology. Screen Time is a new podcast where we search for answers to the biggest questions out there on kids and technology. Screen Time premieres Thursday, March 10, 2022 and is available on, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and anywhere podcasts are available.  

Produced as a partnership between the Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy at the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University, TVO, and Antica Productions, this six-episode series brings together world-leading researchers studying kids and tech. Through conversations with experts, parents, teachers and children and youth themselves, Screen Time offers a road map for supporting the benefits of digital technologies while advocating for policy reform against known risks and harms. 

Hosted by the Centre’s Director, Taylor Owen, and technology journalist Nicole Edwards, Screen Time makes sense of the rapidly changing tech landscape and aims to provide evidence-based insights on the place of technology in children’s lives. “As the father of an 8 year old I struggle with this problem intimately, and this show provided a fascinating opportunity to speak to and learn from some of the top experts in the world studying all of the ways technologies are shaping the lives of our kids,” says Taylor Owen. The podcast explores key questions on how tech impacts infants to teens who interact with data-driven technologies, educational tools, and online gaming environments.

With all the internet’s positives and potential dangers, Screen Time brings critical thinking and informed recommendations to families and policymakers alike through the essential combination of robust research and compelling journalism. "This show is focused on kids, but it's also a crash course on what we do and don't yet know about how technology use affects the whole family, young and old,” says Nicole Edwards.

"Screen Time is essential listening for anyone interested in or concerned with young people’s interaction with technology," says John Ferri, TVO’s VP of Current Affairs and Documentaries.

Listen to the new TVO podcast Screen Time on Thursdays, starting March 10, 2022:

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Episode information:

● Episode 1: Gaming, the metaverse and online socializing for kids. “Are kids’ virtual friendships as healthy as in-person socializing?”

● Episode 2: Brain development and phones/tablets. “Is a rise in screen time changing the way children’s brains develop?”

● Episode 3: Social media apps and how they shape reality for teens. “What makes apps like Instagram so powerful, and how can parents tell if a child’s social media use is harming their mental health?”

● Episode 4: YouTube and data collection. “Curating children’s experiences on YouTube is a big challenge, and the responsibility often falls on parents. Is YouTube exploiting kids for profit?”

● Episode 5: Children’s online safety. “Every caregiver needs to decide how much freedom to give their kids online. How do you find the limit?”

● Episode 6: Where do we go from here? A conversation about regulation. “Why do big tech companies treat my kid as an adult at 13?”

About the Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy:

The Centre for Media, Technology and Democracy is McGill’s focal point on critical research and public debate about the role of media and emerging technologies in shaping democracy and public life, advancing research and policy activism on the interplay between media and technology and its relationship to public life and democracy.

Directed by Taylor Owen, Beaverbrook Chair in Media, Ethics and Communications, Associate Professor at the Max Bell School of Public Policy, and a leading voice in technology governance, the Centre is committed to public-facing work through a range of events, podcasts, and workshops aimed at translating cutting-edge research for broad public audiences and policymakers.

About TVO

TVO inspires learning that changes lives and enriches communities. Founded in 1970, we are a globally recognized digital learning organization that engages Ontarians of all ages with inclusive experiences and diverse perspectives. Through video, audio, games, courses, newsletters and articles, we’re investing in the transformative potential of education for everyone. Funded primarily by the Province of Ontario, TVO is a registered charity supported by thousands of sponsors and donors. For more information, visit and

About Antica Productions

Antica Productions is Canada’s largest independent podcast production company. Some recent shows include “This Being Human” (Aga Khan Museum/TVO), and “Do you know Mordechai?” (NBC). Antica also produces award-winning documentary films including Mellissa Fung’s “Captive” (TVO), nominated for the 2022 Canadian Screen Awards for best documentary film, and Tanya Talaga’s “Spirit to Soar” (CBC), winner of the audience award at Hot Docs in 2021.


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