Chapter 14: The Child in Context: Family Structure, Child Care, and Media
Submitted by Katie Williams
It’s no secret that media is a large influencer of students, now more than ever before. It is imperative that we, as parents and teachers, find ways to embrace media and use it to our advantage, working also to lower risk factors in the children within our realm of influence.
The Impact of Media on Multicultural Education
Media has the power to teach students about people from all over the world. Programs such as Dora the Explorer and Sesame Street incorporate other cultures into their television episodes. Sesame Street also reaches out to multicultural audiences through the Sesame Street Workshop foundation by being broadcast in 30 languages throughout the globe (Wartella & Knell). These episodes address cultural needs such as prosocial behavior, mutual respect and acceptance of those who are different (i.e. Kami, an HIV positive Muppet in South Africa’s airings) (Wartella & Knell). These interventions strive to address social issues around the world and help educate students about adult issues that they may hear their parents discussing. So what about bringing multicultural education to American students? Teachers and students can continue to discuss global issues they see in media. Work to promote mutual respect and break down barriers of racial stereotypes students may get from antisocial television shows. Introduce students to prosocial media such as educational shows like Sesame Street that will engage students and invite them to learn about other countries.
The Impact of iPads in the Classroom
Many schools are combating media usage by embracing it and bringing it into the classroom. Many BYOD school districts are emerging and many others are purchasing iPads for school use. Social collaboration is one advantage to using iPads in the classroom as it facilitates engagement among students (Henderson & Yeow). Students are held accountable and take control of their own learning when iPads are use effectively. In some cases, learning is becoming digital and taking the place of the educator lecturing at the front of the classroom. Learning is also becoming more mobile and immediate since learning is at the students’ fingertips. The portability of iPads allows teachers and students to use the devices in and out of the classroom. For example, students can take the devices along on field trips or practice skills at home. The biggest critique of using this technology in the classroom is that teachers MUST manage the use of these devices (apps and software updates) and monitor student use so it doesn’t contribute to the negative effects media already has on students. As with computer use in the classroom, teachers should attend professional development to effectively use this piece of technology in the classroom (Bergin & Bergin).
Impact of Social Media on Education
Social media is becoming a part of the lives of our educators and students alike at exponential rates. A national research report from Grunwald Associates, LLC found that one third of teachers alone belong to a social media group and that number is increasing (Rivero). So why not embrace social media as an educational tool within the classroom setting? Sites such as Edmodo allow students to collaborate with each other, take online assessments, and read material posted for learning purposes. Sites such as glogster, smore, edublog, and kidblog take blogging to a new level where students take control of their learning to write posts or create e-posters of their learning. Professional learning networks such a PD360 is designed to help teachers improve in their practice along their journey as educators.
Reducing Negative Effects of Media in the Classroom
Embracing media is one way to continue to ensure that students are engaged in our classrooms. However, we should always make sure we are working to reduce those negative effects that media has on our students. Make sure you talk to your students about making positive media choices and modeling what this looks like (Bergin & Bergin). Also, educate parents about positive media outlets such as educational and prosocial television and internet sites. Above all, make sure to discuss digital citizenship with students encourage students to make informed decisions about media even at a young age.
Bergin, C. A., & Bergin, D. A. (2012). Cognitive Ability: Intelligence, Talent and Achievement. Child and Adolescent Development In Your Classroom (pp. 185-191). Australia: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.
Henderson, S.; Yeow, J., “iPad in Education: A Case Study of iPad Adoption and Use in a Primary School,” System Science (HICSS), 2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on , vol., no., pp.78,87, 4-7 Jan. 2012. URL: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.proxy.mul.missouri.edu/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6148617&isnumber=6148595
Rivero, V. (2011). “We’re talking social media in education.” Internet@Schools, 18(3), 12-15,4. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/865910640?accountid=14576
Wartella, Ellen and Gary E. Knell (Nov, 2004). “Raising a World-Wise Child and the Power of Media: The Impact of Television on Children’s Intercultural Knowledge.” The Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 86, No 3, pp.222-224.
1) What are some additional impacts do you see of media on education?
2) What are you doing to promote digital citizenship in your school district? In your classroom?
3) What additional ways can you think of to reduce negative effects of media on our students?
4) How can you effectively use media in your classroom instruction?