Research Project Summary (Final Website)

December 10, 2011

Marvin Flambert
Children and Mobile Media
Research Project Summary

In contemporary times there has been a massive increase in the production and use of mobile media. Mobile devices have become a social norm and a fixture in the digital era so naturally our future generations, meaning children, are exposed to this on a regular basis and are engaged in these devices on a number of levels.

As a result of this many questions are raised such as, what are potential benefits of children being exposed and engaged in mobile media? What are potential draw backs or obstacles of children being exposed and engaged in mobile media? How many children actually utilize mobile media today in the United States alone? At what age are these devices initially implemented in the lives of these children? And last but not least what purposes do these mobile devices serve in the lives of children? (recreational/educational) My goal with this research assignment was to touch base on the uses of these devices by young children and adolescence in regards to recreation, education, communication, and how frequently they are engaged or involved in mobile media.

Just as well there are a few other intriguing inquiries I set out to uncover like how mobile media impacts the way children perceive networking and communication in the modern day era? Whether there are vast skill and cultural differences between contemporary children and their parental counterparts in terms of both digital and media literacy? If use of mobile devices among children causes an accelerated comprehension and application of media technology? And also do children become more mature or intellectually stimulated by this technology, or does it instead distract and reduce the rate at which children focus, learn, and their overall cognition?

In search for such eluding answers I turned to the research methods of text from library and scholarly sources as well as online based content to gather data and statistics on the issues as well as my own field interviews. In these interviews I dictated a series of questions to two participating parents who disclosed information about their position on their children’s interactions with mobile media. After assembling these various forms of data and stats I was able to come to the conclusion which will be stated at the close of this summary.

When considering small children or young adolescence use of mobile media, distraction is an issue. At these ages a lot is already taking place mentally as far as transitions in comprehension capacity and changes in cognition. Kids are often seen as overly energetic and active which causes traditional disciplines of learning to be difficult. So when media is implemented people think just one more shiny gadget or screen to further dispel l attention when in fact these devices can engage and better focus these young minds who are already naturally geared towards expansion and exploration.

Just as it’s beneficial to immerse young children in a language for them to be fluent, fluency in technology that is shaping the entire world as we speak can only make sense, if anything it could accelerate children aiding in the development of both digital and media literacy amongst our youth. Such devises should only be given to children under adult supervision for recreational use, and for educational purposes under the supervision of the institution.
An article written based on a report released by the Henry J Kaiser foundation, in January of 2010 stated that “the increase in media use is driven in large part by ready access to mobile devices like cell phones and iPods”. Over the past five years there has been a huge increase in ownership among 8- to 18-year-olds from 39% to 66% for cell phones, and from 18% to 76% for MP3 players. Five years ago, we reported that young people spent an average of almost 6½ hours a day with media, and managed to pack more than 8½ hours worth of media content into that time by multitasking.

At the time it seemed that young people’s lives were filled to the boiling point with media. Today, however, those levels of use have been exceeded. Over the past five years, young people have increased the amount of time they spend consuming media by an hour and seventeen minutes daily, roughly from 6:21 to 7:38, nearly the same amount of time most adults spend at work each day, except that young people use media seven days a week as opposed to five.
Moreover, given the amount of time they spend utilizing more than one medium at a time, today’s youth pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media content into those daily 7½ hour, an increase of nearly 2¼ hours of media exposure per day over the past five years. During this period, we all know cell phones and iPods have become true multi-media devices. In fact, young people now spend more time listening to music, playing games, and watching TV on their cell phones than they spend talking on them. The transformation of the cell phone into a media content delivery platform, and the widespread adoption of the iPod and other MP3 devices, has facilitated an explosion in media consumption among American youth. Parental Control Over Media For Children

In previous years, the proliferation of media multitasking allowed young people to pack more media into the same number of hours a day, by reading a magazine or surfing the Internet while watching TV or listening to music. Today, the development of mobile media has allowed, even encouraged young people to find every opportunity throughout the day for using media, actually expanding the number of hours they can consume media, often while on the go. An article posted on technolog.msnbc.com, written by Suzanne Choney, also stated that 52 percent of all children today 8yrs or younger have access to mobile devices at home like a smartphone, video iPod, iPad or other tablet, according to Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group that studies and collects data on children’s use of technology. She even goes as far as saying mobile devices have become mini-pacifiers/babysitters for modern day children which is extremely accurate considering that mobile media fully engulfs and engages its young users to a point of concentration unparalleled by traditional forms of media

To explore some trends of my own I conducted a small survey in which I interviewed two different mothers who have young children I asked them a series of questions that probed their thoughts and feelings about their children’s utilization of mobile media, its pros and cons, how old they will or have already let them engage in these devices, I also asked how they felt about mobile media as an educational tool. The questions that were asked follow; How old is your child? What do you think of young children and their potential use of mobile media (cellphones, tablets, laptops etc.)? What may be positive aspects of children engaging in mobile media? What may be negative? At what age would you allow your child to utilize any of the mobile devices listed in question 2? What are your thoughts in regards to children using mobile media as an educational method or tool? And last but not least; Has your child ever interacted with any form of mobile media? If so for how long and how often?

Both parents agreed that mobile media could be beneficial under adult supervision and that they would allow this between ages 8-14. Parent one said a drawback could be distraction and lack of focus as a result of immaturity. Parent two stated that their child interacts with a mobile device in their kindergarten class in order to aid his ADHD provided by the institution, thus proving when properly facilitated mobile media can be used for learning and focusing a hyper active mind and channeling all of that energy towards learning and cognitive progression. Based on the answers given by both participants it’s safe to say the values demonstrated by these parents consist of education, adult supervision or involvement, appropriate and strict focus. These concerns would most likely mirror that of most parents of all walks of life. Even with only two participants a trend in the values of these devices purposes and uses for children seems imminent among parents.

Amongst all mobile media, cellular phones in particular possess dual, but interdependent qualities for young people. One quality is the communicative function. It is about the mobile as a tool and a channel for the exchange of information. The other quality is the social meaning, which develops from the communication. The mobile phone is described as being doubly articulated, that is, it is a physical device but it is also a medium through which we communicate and through which we maintain social contact in various fashions.
The Sage Handbook of E-Learning Research, contains a chapter that explores how the average adult as well as adolescent in developed countries now own mobile phones and media devices. For many people in developing countries a mobile phone can offer the only means of sending long distance messages. In a parallel development as a result of the spread of personal technology, since the early 1980s schools, colleges and universities have experimented with handheld or mobile devices for learning.

A Theory of Learning for the Mobile Age is the chapter in this text that states that some of the classroom response systems utilized during these experiments were that of data probes and their use as handheld writing tools. Currently universities allow students to bring laptops to lectures and some schools are even providing students with Personal Digital Assistants (PDA’s) and the recently established tablet computers. As personal mobile technologies for learning become more common and attainable, studies show evidence of a direct correlation to the value of incorporating mobile devices in teaching and learning as well as substantial issues, including conflicts between informal learning with personal devices and traditional classroom education. In contemporary times children are developing new skills and literacy’s made possible by mobile devices, such as email, SMS and MMS texting, mob logging which is the composition of diaries and weblogs on mobile devices, and mobile video creation. A new generation of location-aware mobile phones that have already emerged offer further possibilities, of education services and educational media matched to the learner’s context and interests.

The complex nature of interactions between students, educational settings, and mobile media challenges conventional methods of education which impart learning in a fix location or setting. Mobile media allows the opportunity for ubiquitous learning nationally and globally via mobile mediation. This particular chapter’s purpose is to propose a theory of learning in a society of exponentially increasing social and personal mobility. This includes learning through the use of mobile phones, portable computers (laptops, tablets) and personal audio players as well as learning in an era defined by mobility of people and knowledge.

Mobile media is a microcosm of what some might consider a digital revolution or “renaissance”. It’s an evolutionary means of communication, portability, accessibility and availability that is infused with several other media traits and characteristics that make them truly multimedia devices serving numerous functions and purposes. Many fear that this era of digital natives, these children of technology, will usher in an age of dependency, incompetence, and feeble problem solving skills as well as other motor skills that technologies dull by creating ease for the user.

Others argue that it will in fact better equip our youth as well as the general population in connecting them to the global network and familiarizing them early into a technological world.
In conclusion I’ve learned that just like anything else mobile media’s grip on youth has its ups and downs. When utilized in a correct manner it can be a tremendous learning tool for the real world as well as the classroom. The key to not losing touch with necessary or traditional ways is to know how much is too much and that sometimes less is more. All will be well if we just practice moderation in the digital nation.

Children & Mobile Media Pech Kucha

December 10, 2011

Pechu Kucha

A Trip To Paley Library

October 14, 2011

1. Book: Mobile Technology for Children.
The basic premise of this book is to convey ideas and inspirations for those in the business of academia who research, build, and design mobile devices for children. It also elaborates on impact of mobile devices for children and learning.

Citation: Durin, A. (2009). Mobile Technology for Children. Morgan Kaufmann. TK6570M6M632009

2. Video: App Launched to Prevent Child Grooming.
This video is on BBC New’s website. Its about a cellphone app being used in the UK to Prevent child predators from being able to stealthily interact with young children in online chatrooms from their mobile phones. The app sifts through texts, keywords, and patterns that would expose an adult attempting to pose as a minor through the acronyms and over the top abbreviations many young people utilize on mobile media.

Citation: BBC NEWS, (2011). App Launched to Prevent Child Grooming. available from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk

3. Journal Article: The Design of Personal Mobile Technologies for Lifelong learning.
This article sets out a framework for the implementation and design of a new genre of educational technology. It explores theories and ideas of utilizing handheld computer systems that support learning from any location during a lifteime. It also touches on the benefits of learning that is mediated through mobile technology.

Citation: Sharples, M. (2000). The Design of Personial Mobile Technologies for Lifelong Learning. Volume 34 issues 3-4. p 177-193.

4.Website:http://www.gsmworld.com/our-work/public-policy/children_and_mobile_phones.htm
This website discusses how questions are frequently raised about the social and financial impacts of children using mobile phones and how trend towards increasing usage seems to continue. The GSMA both leads and actively participates in various initiatives which are designated towards the protection of children and young people using mobile phones.

Citation: Children and Mobile Phones. Retrieved 10.13.2011 from http://www.gsmworld.com/

Digital Media: New Learners of The 21st Century

October 7, 2011

The PBS Video Digital Media was insightful innovative, and intriguing in its portrayal of a revolutionary means 0f learning in the classrooms of tomorrow. The clips main emphasis was change and reform of whats considered by many scholars and institutions to be an arcaic method of learning process. One that has been utilized over the ages that we are all products of despite recent incorporations of digital media in the new millenium.

An interesting quote that was mentioned by one of the Digital Media workshops speakers came from John Dewey. He exclaimed “If we teach todays students the way we taught them yesterday we rob them of tomorrow”. This resonated with me as I found it to be a profound statement which to me can make nothing else but sense.
Throughout the film speakers and the children shown engaging in these work shops showcased this form of learning as “stealth learning”. Through the use of games, movies, activities etc. the children are subliminally yet effectively learning and problem solving without even realizing it.

Digital Media is seen as an outlet or hobby that may perpetuate constructive behavior and serve as a muse or catalyst for creativity and positive recreational as well as vocational exploits.

Another argument made by the film was that all kids have interests regardless of their inability to articulate or even know it at all. They have one and digital media’s engaging and stimulating appeal to children aids in the exploration of these interests. Once discovered then further progressing through it. It encourages enthusiasm and excitement to continuously grasp attention.

One moment in the video I thought was a perfect example of the points addressed thus far was when the younger children were being taught by a highschool girl how to edit and produce video projects on a mac computer using what was most likely final cut pro or Imovie. The fact that Temple has intro classes that teach us how to use these types of equipment and produce such projects says a lot about the accelerated rate this type of learning can reach when presented to a much younger generation.

Some of the ideas and methods that may seem troubling or unrealistic in the film could be that this style of learning lacks traditional disciplines and structure. Some believe that gaming and digital media would backfire and be far too overwhelming for children of certain ages to truley allow a learning experience. It doesn’t seem likely that this type of learning will become the status quo for education just yet but that fact that computers and games like mavis beacon a typing game that even helped me to learn how to type on a keyboard without looking are increasingly incorporated into traditional means of education shows that this type and method of learning will be immenent in the future of education.

Critical Analysis of Youtube Video : The Most Interesting Man

September 22, 2011

Marvin Flambert

Weekly Response #3

Critically Analyzing YouTube Video

When elaborating on the 5 critical questions the first to take into consideration is Who is the author and what is the purpose of the advertisement? In this istance the author is Dos Equis a Mexican beer manufacturing company. The purpose of this ad is to persuade the audience and target demographic that this brand of beer is the epitome of a manly mans beer and that those who indulge will be like the gentlemen (the most interesting man) depicted in the advertisement. More or less the commercial attempts to sway its audience into purchasing Dos Equis to be manly and “cool”.

Next one would need to take in account what creative techniques are used to attract and hold attention? There are numerous methods used in this ad to draw and maintain attention such as the display of multiple women surrounding and being found in the company of the most interesting man. Different cut scenes portraying him as an older and seasoned yet virile man as well as him in his youth (editing). He is shown as a man of strength, courage, and invisibility. While these are all visual tools for the audience the narration throughout the ad is just as prevalent in further perpetuating the theme of the basic premise. The man speaking describes him as the man other men want to be and women want to be with. His tone of voice, jargon, and comical statements all aid in the driving the point the commercial attempts to make. Even the music helps (audio).

Following this one may consider how might different people understand this message? For the most part people will find this ad amusing. I doubt anyone would take this and interpret it to be something literal. Those of us who know better will understand that the ad is simply attempting to draw in customers behind the idea of being “the most interesting man in the world” Which doesn’t occur from drinking beer. Those of us who don’t know much better maybe believe Dos Equis will some how make their lives better or make them cooler. Others will disregard the message if they just enjoy a good beer. What lifestyles values and points of view are represented?
Lifestyles of the rich and adventurous are portrayed. The most interesting man is shown engaging in partying, treading through nature, brushing with death, enjoying lovely women, etc. Drinking a brand of beer will make you or get you none of this. Values and points of you depicted are the idea of being a “manly man” being cool or interesting. Being the life of the party.
What is omitted?Drinking beer doesn’t make you charismatic, will not provide or a support a lavish lifestyle, doesn’t make you invisible, won’t get you women, doesn’t make you more or less interesting than you already maybe. All beer provides you with is a buzz, a beer belly, and liver complications if used excessively over time.

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February 18, 2010

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