The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)

Research round-up Dec – January

Our research bloggers were busy over the holidays and rounded the year off with some insights and information on media literacy and media education.

Hannie Kirkham, Newsletter Editor, brings you snippets from December...

Julian McDougall runs The Centre for Excellence in Media Practice at Bournemouth University and the Media Education Research Journal. In his June posting to the CMF Research Blog, he outlined his plans to create a media literacies specialist group within the wider ambit of the UK Literacy Association. At the time he announced a study into the media literacy of Media Studies students and in his latest post he outlined some findings from the first workshop of the UKLA Media Literacies Special Interest Groupat the Media Education Conference at the British Film Institute in London on November 29th.

The workshop looked at the findings of that pilot study and produced some proposals to attract more media educators to the association, produce resources, work with Ofcom to further research and (despite educational cuts) generally foster the UNESCO goals of a media literate population. Julian is keen to hear form Media Literacy researchers and media educators who want to join the special interest group.

John Potter’s post also looks at media literacy, as discussed at the Media Education Summit, in Prague (Nov 20th-21st) with particular interest in young people and their own digital making. The reserach organisation DARE was one of several presenting studies which explored the importance of digital making as a practice in education, as a connector to popular culture, as a “third space” amongst young people beyond home and school, and also looked at how digital coding could be considered a creative practice – as opposed to simply an IT exercise.

“In all cases there was the idea of expanding not only the definitions of literacy but also those of digital making and coding, moving them from the computer science domain and placing them in a wider arts and literacy context. Some of this was contentious and challenged by the speakers and guests from a variety of contexts and backgrounds but it seems that children’s media can move the curriculum debate by engaging with the business of writing and producing media of all kinds. Once the idea of authorship emerges, in any of the forms, from games to animation, from film to remixing you move into an area which makes visible all of the debates and positions.”

CMF Research Blog contributor Dr Becky Parry has been busy over Christmas too – with a fascinating article on 12 reasons your children should watch films at Christmas... Becky brings the concept of media literacy right into family lives and we’re pleased she’ll be joining the contributing speakers at the next CMF evening event.

Other Research News…

EU Kids Online seeks to enhance knowledge of European children's use, risk and safety online.  Amongst many hundreds of studies undertaken by a wide collaborative group of researchers from all over Europe, their latest is: Children’s online risks and opportunities: comparative findings from EU Kids Online and Net Children Go Mobile

This report highlights the latest findings on children’s online access and use; activities; social networking; digital skills; risks and harm; parental mediation and recommendations. It includes a wealth of graphs comparing the findings from the EU Kids Online and Net Children Go Mobile surveys, focusing on seven European countries. The findings show that more European children are encountering risk online, with especially sharp rises in some countries. The report offers urgent recommendations for industry, government, educators and awareness-raisers, and families.

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The Children’s Media Foundation (CMF)