Media! Tech! Parenting!

Timely Topics on Teaching & Parenting Digital Children

Posts Tagged ‘Common Sense Media’

Children’s Media Use in America – 2013 Report

Posted by Marti Weston on October 28, 2013

Common Sense Media 2013 report finding

Check out the other survey findings.

Common Sense Media has published a 2013 report on young children and their access and use of mobile media devices, Zero to Eight, Children’s Media Use in America 2013. The new research study aims to get a reading on how media use has changed since the the organization completed and published  its 2011 media and children study. Common Sense Media plans to redo this research biennially and publish the collected data.

The 2013 results are based on a nationally representative survey of parents with children under eight years of age. Researchers surveyed 1,463 parents utilizing the same methodology that was used in the 2011 survey and making sure that African-American and Latino representation was large enough to ensure statistically valid conclusions. To further ensure reliability of the data, investigators provided devices and Internet access to survey participants when necessary.

Several of the Most Interesting 2013 Findings

  • The survey data indicate that almost twice as many children, eight years and younger now use mobile media when compared to the 2011 Common Sense Media results.
  • Television, DVD, and video game use on traditional screens is decreasing, but television still dominates.
  • Although access to mobile media for poor and underserved children has increased since the 2011 survey, a digital divide still exists.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 21st Century parenting, digital devices, gadget ownership, mobile media devices, parents and technology, too much media? | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Do Today’s Digital Kids Learn Differently?

Posted by Marti Weston on December 3, 2012

Image from Children, Teans, and Entertainment Media: The View from the Classroom

Image from Children, Teens, and Entertainment Media: The View from the Classroom

In case you missed it, check out the November 1, 2012 New York Times article, Technology Changing How Students Learn, Teachers Say.

Technology reporter Matt Richtel shares information about two recent studies that examine, on the basis of educator surveys, how today’s digital children may be learning differently than in the past. Although individual responses are subjective, the results of the surveys “are considered significant because of the vantage points of teachers who spend hours a day observing students.”

One survey, conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, examined responses from 2,462 teachers. The other, conducted by Common Sense Media, surveyed 685 educators.

It all comes down to attention span. In both surveys teachers expressed concern that students, used to  fast-paced, always changing activities, are less able to focus on an academic task for a prolonged period.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in digital change, digital parenting, educating digital natives, kids changing lives, parents and technology, teachers, teaching digital kids | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Another Tragedy for Digital Kids to Absorb — Aurora, Colorado

Posted by Marti Weston on July 23, 2012

Watch the video at Common Sense Media.

Yet again we are living through a horrible tragedy, this time in Aurora, Colorado, and this incident is extra frightening because the shooting and killing occurred as people went about normal activities in a movie theater. What’s more a part of kids’ daily lives than movie theaters?

Any connected child or adolescent can learn about this event and others via a digital device or television. In the digital world, the news cycle never stops, and most children do not possess the media literacy skills to evaluate the sources of information. The traditional walls that used to insulate kids from information about violent events just aren’t that thick anymore.

What are digital parents and teachers to do?

If you need support or at least some extra perspective before you initiate a parent-child conversation in your family, check out a video, Explaining the News to Our Kids, over at the Common Sense Media. This short presentation provides thoughtful suggestions that can help adults get started with difficult conversations about the news when scary and discomforting events occur.

Posted in digital parenting, family conversations, media literacy, parents and technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Read 10 Simple Steps to Internet Safety at Common Sense Media

Posted by Marti Weston on May 18, 2012

Check out 10 Simple Steps to Internet Safety over at the Common Sense Media website. Actually it looks like there are eleven items for parents to review at the page.

As always, Common Sense Media hits the nail on the head with clear, well written, and to-the-point parenting information. I’ve inserted a list of the questions.

Pay special attention to the two questions that I’ve listed below:

  • How do I teach my kids to recognize online advertising?
  • Should I let my kid get a Facebook page?

Posted in acceptable use, digital citizenship, digital parenting, online safety, parents and technology | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Can We Stop Confusing Kids’ Privacy with Transparency?

Posted by Marti Weston on May 13, 2012

Our digital society hasn’t figured out what to do about privacy. More importantly, it hasn’t figured what to do about the privacy of our kids — we keep confusing privacy with transparency.

It’s problematic enough that adults are diving willy-nilly into the digital world, sharing everything about themselves, private and not so private, but it’s even worse to observe a world where everything a child does and almost every mistake he or she makes is now public. These days we are giving children and adolescents no cover and no protection as they blithely explore the digital world while making what in any other era would be common and developmentally appropriate errors.

Lest I sound like a digital Luddite, I’m not. I love participating in the activities of my digital world, actively but moderately, and I have an arsenal of digital gadgets in my purse, book bag, and lying around my house. As an educator, however, I am keenly aware of how much we are forgetting to nurture and honor kids’ developmental stages as they grow up in this digitally dense world. Part of solving that problem involves ensuring that children have a guaranteed amount of privacy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in digital footprints, digital parenting, marketing to kids, media literacy, parents and technology, privacy, teaching digital kids | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Support the Do Not Track Kids Act

Posted by Marti Weston on February 7, 2012

Read the bill.

Today, February 7, 2012, take a few minutes to ask your United States Representative to support the Do Not Track Kids Act, a bill that seeks to prevent the tracking and collecting of  kids’ online information and activities.

Parents and educators know how much children and teens love to explore the digital world, and that’s not going to change. What needs to change is the way companies collect information about kids’ digital activities and then use it for marketing purposes, much of it exploitative. The Do Not Track Kids Act aims to stop tracking the activities of children and adolescents and encourages companies to adopt a Digital Marketing Bill of Rights for Teens.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in American Academy of Pediatrics, digital parenting, Do Not Track Kids Act, kids changing lives, online tracking, parents and technology, privacy | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Think Before Taking Online Quizzes and Surveys

Posted by Marti Weston on February 4, 2012

I have a big problem with online web surveys and quizzes aimed at kids. Many are tricky digital techniques using old-fashioned fun and emulating magazine quiz features of the past, but with a contemporary cyber-twist that encourages today’s web users — and many, many children — to happily divulge all sorts of personal information.

When you encounter a quiz or survey on a website, it’s a good time to chat with children about privacy and the methods that websites use to collect personal information. Remind them that no kid-friendly erasers are currently available to whisk things away once children provide information. To learn more about how websites and companies track the online activities of children read the Common Sense Media policy brief, Protecting Our Kids Privacy in a Digital World.

You may also want to visit the I Look Both Ways blog, where Linda Criddle has posted Online Quizzes and Surveys and the Real Risks These Represent. Linda’s post offers a comprehensive overview of the subject along with supplemental images.

Here’s a short excerpt — applicable for home and at school — from my November 2011 post at the Teaching Tolerance blog.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in digital parenting, family conversations, parent education, parents and technology, privacy | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

You Can be Media Savvy with Your Kids in 2012!

Posted by Marti Weston on December 22, 2011

Common Sense Media recently posted Six Ways to be a Media Savvy Parent in 2012. The December 2011 report suggests all sorts of ideas that can help parents (and other adults) develop stronger media (and media literacy) skills.

Suggestions include downloading a game to play with the kids, trying out a social media site, investigating YouTube, and much more. Some these can ideas will provide great fun for kids and parents over the holiday vacation.

Visit Common Sense Media and try out some of these features.

Thanks to my colleague and friend Renee Hawkins for spotting a good media post (one that I had missed). Renee blogs with another friend and colleague, Susan Davis, at The Flying Trapeze.

Posted in answers to media questions, digital parenting, media literacy, parents and technology, social media, social networking | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Discouraging News on the Media Lit Frontier

Posted by Marti Weston on October 26, 2011

Zero to Eight: Children's Media Use in America, p 11

The New York Times has reported on a Common Sense Media (CSM) sponsored study, Zero to Eight, Children’s Media Use in America (PDF). The Times article, Screen Time Higher Than Ever for Children, describes the study and points out that kids are in front of a screen more than ever despite the recommendations of their doctors.

After reading this I am feeling a bit more pessimistic than usual. Adults are used to tossing health caution to the wind for themselves, but we were vigilant about protecting the health of our children. Now we seem to  disregard the recommendations of pediatricians — the very people who can help us do the most possible to ensure that our kids grown into strong and productive adults. Are we as a society less and less concerned about the development of strong minds? Times reporter Tamar Lewin writes:

Despite the American Academy of Pediatrics’ longstanding recommendations to the contrary, children under 8 are spending more time than ever in front of screens…

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in American Academy of Pediatrics, answers to media questions, digital devices and gadgets, media literacy, parents and technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »