This week on Is This Normal, hosts Sarah and Sheena are joined by Bernard McCloskey, Head of Education for NI Screen.
Bernard chats through the endless possibilities for young people in Northern Ireland who are passionate about gaming, coding, film and technology and explains how screen time is not all bad and can have some real educational value for kids.
Chatting on the podcast about his advice for parents on choosing appropriate movies and programmes for kids, Bernard said: “My advice would be to sit and watch it with them and check it out as a parent and see if it is appropriate for their age and whether they’ll understand what’s going on.
“If there’s stuff that worries you and you think no, then maybe they shouldn’t be watching this until they’re a little bit older.
“So check it out first, if you can’t watch it, read up about it on the internet. There’s always very good information on the internet.”
On the opportunities that exist in Northern Ireland in the screen industry Bernard said: “The opportunities are multiplying rapidly, we’ve seen very fast growth in areas like animation production here in Northern Ireland and also games development.
“We set up The Pixel Mill in Belfast as part of that initiative on the gaming side so that young start up companies could develop and work together and learn from each other as they go through the process. So having good computer skills and good coding skills will be important to that as well.
“If you can write code, you can design a website or a new piece of technology that can be distributed very quickly across the internet and is sellable, which is the important bit as well.”
To hear more on the programmes that are available through NI Screen for children and the types of roles and skills that are needed in the industry, listen to the full episode.
Series 2 of Is This Normal? is packed with advice from experts on a wide range of parenting topics.
There are seven episodes now live covering sleep, pregnancy in the pandemic, first aid, breastfeeding, play, nutrition and NI Screen.
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