Category Archives: media

The appy world of kids

As apps devour phone space, the use of apps for children is increasingly being addressed by tech educators.

Actually, the whole topic of media engagement among kids is going far beyond screen time, dealing with topics that include virtual reality games, interactive robots and artificial intelligence. Privacy continues to be a theme throughout realtime conversations on the ground between parents and kids and among researchers.

Educators continue to look for ways that developmentally appropriate apps can bring together children, their peers and their families. We’re on the front edge of a new wave of app engagement.

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Cry before you buy

The typically heart-tugging ads we saw around Christmas carried through to the Olympics; some tear-jerkers are still hanging around.

Typically involving children and their parents, emotive marketing has been a growing edge for advertisers. Many ads which aired in recent months featured dads and daughters.

Some of the ads are beautifully orchestrated, even though I can’t figure out what they are trying to sell.

Toy-friendly films

Marketers can barely hold back their anticipation of the International Toy Fair held each year at this time in New York City.

The reason: an entertainment rich release schedule of kid friendly (ie. toy friendly) films.

This means parents will have another year of kid begging for licensed toys. Hint: prepare for a deluge of superheroes.

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.