Social Media Impact

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Always connected:
The new digital media habits of young children

Aviva Lucas Gutnick Michael Robb Lori Takeuchi Jennifer Kotler With a Preface by: Lewis Bernstein & Michael H. Levine

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop

© Sesame Workshop and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center

. All rights reserved.

Sesame Workshop is committed to the principle that all children deserve a chance to learn and grow; to be prepared for school; to better understand the world and each other; to think, dream and discover; and to reach their highest potential. The Workshop develops innovative and engaging educational content delivered in a variety of ways, including via television, radio, books, magazines, interactive media, and community outreach. By taking advantage of all forms of media and using those that are best suited to deliver a particular curriculum, the Workshop effectively and ef ciently reaches millions of children, parents, caregivers, and educators locally, nationally, and globally. www.sesameworkshop.org The mission of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center is to foster innovation in children’s learning through digital media. The Cooney Center catalyzes and supports research, development, and investment in digital media technologies to advance children’s learning, and is committed to the timely dissemination of useful research. Working closely with its Fellows, national advisors, media scholars, and practitioners, the Center publishes industry, policy, and research briefs examining key issues in the eld of digital media and learning. www.joanganzcooneycenter.org A full-text PDF of this report is available for free download from www.joanganzcooneycenter.org. Individual print copies of this publication are available for via check, money order, or purchase order made payable to “The Joan Ganz Cooney Center for Educational Media and Research” and sent to the address below. Bulk-rate prices are available on request.

Attn: Publications Department The Joan Ganz Cooney Center Sesame Workshop Broadway New York, NY p: ( ) f: ( ) cooney.center@sesameworkshop.org

Suggested citation: Gutnick, A. L., Robb, M., Takeuchi, L., & Kotler, J. ( ). Always connected: The new digital media habits of young children. New York: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.

contents
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preface executive summary introduction methodology key findings recommendations conclusion appendix references

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preface
In a recent report from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and Stanford University on media multitasking, Claudia Wallis concluded, “New technology sometimes brings change that is so swift and sweeping, that the implications are hard to grasp.” Such is certainly the case with the rapid expansion of media use by children and youth for ever-larger portions of their waking hours. Academics, policymakers, and practitioners show a keen interest in the digital age. And, of course, parents are scrambling to keep up with the preponderance of new gadgets that influences modern household arrangements and communication patterns. A vigorous national dialogue is taking place over the right balance between media consumption, the potential negative impact that inappropriate digital content can have on vulnerable children, and the worry that children are increasingly leading physically inactive lives. These legitimate concerns must be juxtaposed with emerging evidence from the learning sciences and innovative practices showing how well-deployed digital media can promote new skills, raise achievement, and bring children together across time and space.

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Since 1999, a series of studies undertaken by academic experts and philanthropies has documented the rise of media multitasking by youth, with most of the studies focused on children ages 8 and up.1 Relatively little research, however, has been done on children during the preschool and middle-childhood periods, which scholars in child development,...
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