The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

CMF’s Research Round-up – August 2014

The Academic Research Blog is a unique CMF initiative to give all researchers interested in kids and media a single space in which to discuss, dissect and debate.

Claudio Franco, co-editor of the Blog, gives us a taste of July’s activity...

With almost 20 contributors already and a wealth of research being disseminated on the blog, I think we can say it’s been a successful first month! It’s designed as a forum for discussion on the media-related issues facing children and parents, on all platforms, and the aim is to improve the quality of debate about children’s media and ensure that there is an outlet for research in a central, publicly available space. Anyone can access the blog posts via the CMF Research website and CMF supporters and patrons can contribute through comments.For media industry professionals, teachers, journalists, policy makers and politicians, it’s a key reference point where they can search for digests of research which might support and inform their work, act as a prompt for discussion, or challenge some often stated ‘wisdoms’.

The blog, initiated by Professor David Buckingham and developed by Dr Becky Parry, myself and Colin Ward, includes contributors who are interested in children and young people of different ages and whose areas of expertise range through film, television and games as well as literacy, online security, commercial concerns, learning and play.

Below is a summary of some of July’s posts:

Cary Bazalgette, Head of Education at the British Film Institute (1999-2006) and currently engaged in doctoral research on early media learning, uncovered important gaps in the body of research about ways in which young children aged 2 to 4 learn about moving media. Cary reflects on logistic and methodological challenges, and suggests ways forward.
Two-year-olds: the big research gap?

Jackie MarshProfessor of Education at the University of Sheffield, reflected on some of her studies exploring the offline / online interface in relation to play. As children engage in play in online sites which relates to their toys, artefacts and offline practices, Jackie calls for a greater focus on the ‘opportunity for children to create their own digital stories and games that incorporate their off-screen creations’, in order ‘to realise the true promise of augmented reality apps’.
Offline / Online Play: Augmented Reality Apps

Cathy Burnett, Professor of Literacy and Education at Sheffield Hallam University, presented a reflection on assessment frameworks for media literacy, suggesting that a ‘New Media Literacies Nexus’ can ‘open up new insights into how children make meanings and how we can most effectively provide the resources, opportunities and support for them to do so.’
Shifting the frame? Reflections on assessment

Dylan Yamada-Rice, Lecturer in Early Childhood Education at the School of Education, University of Sheffield, described an inter-university collaborative study of children’s interactions with story apps for tablets. The research introduced children to a number of apps, drawing conclusions that can help both researchers and media practitioners make better apps.
Toddlers, iPads and story apps – how intuitive are they?

Natalia Kucirkova, Knowledge Transfer Partnership Associate for The Open University and Booktrust, presented a preview of the Booktrust’s research group work looking at the development of criteria for assessing the quality of children’s digital books and apps. The study reports on teacher’s views on new forms of digital books and apps, and recommends closer work between digital developers and education professionals.
Best apps for schools: what do teachers want?

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The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)