#BetterWeb 14: Damien Giard, Bayard Jeunesse – Accompanying children in front of screens

In this new episode, we are pleased to welcome Damien Giard, Digital Director of Bayard Jeunesse

18 September 2023

For this new episode #BetterWeb, we are pleased to welcome Damien Giard, Digital Director of Bayard Jeunesse, as part of the partnership between Qwant Junior, the secure and favorite search engine for children, and BayaM the edutainment application. He talks with Corinne Lejbowicz, the necessary accompaniment of children in front of screens.

Corinne Lejbowicz: “Hello Damien.Actually, I wanted to start, so I’m not going to go back to who Bayard, Milan, Astrapi, J’aime Lire, BayaM, and this group that is 150 years old today and I wanted to get straight to the heart of the matter. And ask you what is your position to accompany children in their first steps on the internet, because we know that today we start very small, very small, and therefore that the first steps are essential.”

Damien Giard: “We have a media group that has existed for 150 years and so we have always wanted to be where the children are. Recently, we have a study, he spends more than 6 hours a week on the internet. Where before he spent 1 hour before the confinement.”

Corinne Lejbowicz: “At what age?”

Damien Giard: “Under 6”

Corinne Lejbowicz: “Under 6, under 6?”

Damien Giard: “Yes, we have to be there to support them, that’s our role, so accompanying them is really offering them a secure environment that reassures the parent. No data, no ads, a nice selection of content and we try a lot to have content that is very adapted to the age of the child. It will grow with us and therefore can happen quite young. When he arrives young, he must have short content, content that he will do with his parent where they will have a moment of sharing, exchange.
And then we’re really going to advocate that at some point, it stops. And so teach him to disconnect and then do something else, to be bored, why not. Screens are not a solution to everything, so we have to bring a little bit, precisely, the parent and the child to that, to understand that.”

Corinne Lejbowicz: “Not easy”

Damien Giard: “Not easy at all. We have a small competitive environment that is not easy and we have things that have changed a lot in the last ten years with the appearance of smartphones, with some capture of attention and therefore parents who are a little, sometimes helpless compared to that. So we have to teach them the right gestures so that afterwards they can also transmit them to their child who often mimics.”

Corinne Lejbowicz: “We’ve all done it.
We have just talked about parents, there is one of the essential points of concern of parents it seems to me is security, secure content. So we at Qwant obviously no data, no advertising, etc. This is Qwant’s DNA. But this notion of security, it must be even more significant with you I imagine. How do you handle it?”

Damien Giard: “We manage it because we have a very, very strict editorial policy to ensure that everything we broadcast is totally controlled. And then we will broadcast them in environments that we completely master, in order to be sure that the child will not go out, will not be in contact with other people or can see other things that we would not have selected. That’s really our promise to parents. It also constrains us, because we do not put data at all, we can not easily get out of the application so there are things we can not do but hey. We make sure that the children will have the best and the parent will be really quiet.”

Corinne Lejbowicz: “And secure. So BayaM is a full-fledged, secure environment, either you download the app…”

Damien Giard: “The difficulty with BayaM is that it’s an application but it’s also a website. We really wanted to offer the best for the child wherever he is. BayaM h is a bit like a Swiss army knife: I can connect it to my car radio, I can connect it to my speaker, I can go on the web, I can have it in an application. It is a technological challenge. On the other hand, we also have a constraint. We try to offer all content for the child, so all content, that is to say all media. Video, audio, gaming, interactivity, so to execute all that, it’s a little challenge.”

Corinne Lejbowicz: “In a secure environment.”

Damien Giard: “In a secure environment.”

Corinne Lejbowicz: “We are reassured, as a parent.”

Damien Giard: “I hope”

Corinne Lejbowicz: “And there is another point that goes up, we also see in the media, it is screen time. And you said it earlier, 6 am is huge. So this screen time how we turn it into a positive behavior actually, can we do it?”

Damien Giard: “Screen time has always existed. Before, we spent hours in front of the TV, it’s still a screen, the TV. Here the idea is that we can make it clear that screen time has always existed, but now it is different. And that we have to put rules, we put hours, there is a beginning, an end, we select the content as a family, we try to watch them together. Then we talk about it and make sure that screen time is not a digital nanny. Pick up your phone, go to your room to do your screen time. It’s a time of entertainment, it’s a time of learning, it’s a time of everyday life.”

Corinne Lejbowicz: “But then, we constantly parameterize it. Do you have any precos?”

Damien Giard: “We have a little bit of control, a little stopwatch, it works very, very well. Parents like it. I think the best control is discussion, it’s knowing what they’re doing. It’s telling them, here, this is your screen time, we’re going to do this, you’re going to do. That, then we’ll talk about it and then we set rules and try that it’s not all the time. And there, we have a constructive screen time.”

Corinne Lejbowicz: “Actually, screen time management is human, it’s not digital.”

Damien Giard: “From our point of view, humans are many, many humans, yes.”

Corinne Lejbowicz: “I agree with you on this point.
At Qwant we have an engine that I know you have tested, which is called Qwant junior, so secure no data, no advertising, obviously that inspires you? So does that inspire you something?”

Damien Giard: “For us, it inspires us a lot. It is a French European engine. I think it is very important that we can have a proposal that comes from our continent, that has slightly different values. All the work you have done precisely to secure, curate, to offer the safest, most secure environment possible, it is essential and so we are very happy to work with Qwant junior, because there are no competitors besides to my knowledge in the market and I believe that it is necessary for that, children, parents and teachers.”

Corinne Lejbowicz: “Children and parents and teachers.”

Damien Giard: “In schools, they need to have an engine that reassures.”

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