Header Ads Widget

Your Advertisement Here

More Media Consumption Means Less Formal Learning? - Generation M2 Report

Generation M2: Media in the Lives of Youth 8-18 years old, was presented the third week of January, 2009 by the Kaiser Family Foundation. This is the third in a series of nationally representative surveys about young people's media use conducted by this Foundation. It includes data of 1999, 2004, and 2009.

Kaiser's report reflects what was already found in 2008 by another study funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Living and Learning with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth Project, where the authors actually suggested education institutions, to keep peace with the rapid change digital media has been introducing.

The MacArthur's findings and carried out by researchers at the University of Southern California and University of California, Berkeley, asked for a new role of education(.pdf): "Rather than assuming that education is primarily about preparing for jobs and careers, they question what it would mean to think of it as a process guiding youths’ participation in public life more generally."

As I said, prior report supports Kaiser's study. Whether we talk about text messaging, tweeting, watching YouTube videos on cell phones, or lurking on a social networking site like Twitter, Myspace or Facebook youths are spending more time than ever before consuming some sort of media, included the old box TV. Is this the reason why they feel tired, do not make homework or are dormant in the classroom? You, as teacher, are on call.

Meredith of Ypulse has posted a response to Kaiser's report. The author cites two sources where they found that in contrast with what Kaiser Foundation suggests, music, TV and social networks are generating by the contrary, happiness and alleviating stress in teens.

Kaiser's study shows that cell phone ownership among the respondents jumped from 39% to 66%, while ownership of iPods and mp3 players jumped from 18% to 76% compared to 2004. What the report fails to mention, as Meredith thoughtfully stresses, is that a lot of screen time is also spent creating and sharing content, engaging youth in ways that passive screen time does not.

And even when parent lack of the decision to establish limits, three in 10 had any rules regarding their use of mobile devices, says the report. More and more, mobile devices are replacing the talking to other people and that, as a citizen, should be a concern. Are they growing humanly isolated?

And to think, time spent texting was actually not included in the times for media consumption. It will actually increase from the average of seven hours and 38 minutes the respondents said used media in 2002(Date of Kaiser's survey) to 10 hours and 45 minutes of media consumption, due to media multi-tasking.

I would like to quote the closing paragraph in Ypulse because I deeply reflect on her questioning:

...Can some young people overdo it? Of course (I think we all suffer from information overload). Especially when parents don't set any limits. Will some young people use screen time to escape reality or avoid the pain of real life to a disconcerting extent? Yes, some will, and we should look out for them. Does some multimedia multi-tasking impact young people's ability to concentrate? Yep, and parents and educators should be pointing this out and helping young people to focus. Instead of sounding yet another alarm about youth and technology, let's use studies like this to help young people learn to self regulate. And more importantly, let's not forget all of the positive changes this new media has brought about.

Still, if you want to elaborate on Kaiser's Generation M2 study for yourself, I invite you to apprehend the information on the slide we insert here:

If you want to receive my future posts regularly for FREE, please subscribe in a reader or by e-mail. Follow me on Twitter. For other concerns, Contact Me at anytime.

Post a Comment


  1. I think that it is important to remember that "screen time" is not passive. A lot of screen time is replacing time that was once spent reading a magazine, writing, creating, etc. Now kids are reading blogs, creating and editing video, and communicating with their friends online instead of on the telephone. This is not the same and sitting in front of the television.