Category Archives: media

Binge effect downaging

The teen trend of hunting for binge-worthy TV is aging down to tweens.

Entertainment execs have used serialized storytelling to fuel the summertime activity. Longer stories result in deeper engagement by viewers.

And of course, digital tech means those screens go everywhere.


Cutting the cord

Although parents usually think about cutting the cord when planning for childbirth, more moms and dads are “cutting the cord” by dropping pay-TV.

This is high season for pulling the cord as moving vans pull up to homes at the end of the school year.

More kids are growing up watching shows on phones and tablets. Another sign of the times: an increasing number of families use online video services for Family Movie Nights.

Fake or real?

Researchers say that the 24 hour news cycle not only gives kids information, but also causes them to feel afraid or angry.

Fewer than half of the children studied can distinguish between fake news and real news. (Perhaps adult percentages wouldn’t be that different!)

Digital literacy skills were supposed to receive major time and attention in classrooms during the school year that’s coming to a close. I’m not convinced that happened.

Parents can make a deliberate attempt to talk with children about news stories. News topics which triggered the most stress and anxiety in kids: global issues related to safety, financial uncertainty and war.

Fake news spillover

The flap over fake news have spilled over into classrooms.

What was previously a challenge goal to “help students become responsible consumers” is no longer an an optional objective.

Because creating fake news is easy in the digital world, teaching students to examine content for bias, consider information sources and filter out anything suspicious has become a higher priority for social studies teachers.

New media guidelines

During the past several weeks, there’s been considerable chatter about the amended recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about children’s use of media.

Overall, the guidelines seem realistic, given the fact that media is so immersive in families.

Next, perhaps the AAP could make the car seat recommendations more doable and reasonable.

Check out the AAP Media Tool Kit:

Introducing Elmo, program host

If summer is starting to drag, there’s still time this month to catch the topic of “animals” on Sesame Street’s YouTube Channel.

Each month, Elmo, the program host, explores a specific topic: games and sports in August, ready for school in September; music and dancing in October; cooking in November and kindness in December.

It’s part of the Love to Learn campaign. Check out games on

True or false?

Separating “what’s real from what’s not real” is a concept children learn during the early years.

But as the lines blur between editorial, marketing, advertising and user-generated content online, older children are struggling to determine “what’s real from what’s not real.”

As an early childhood educator, I’ve helped countless children distinguish between fake food in the playhouse and the real food they ate for breakfast. But now that we’re living in what some might call the “golden age for misinformation,” we need to make sure older children can also distinguish truth from fiction.