What can we learn from a survey on “Children’s Media Use in America 2013”?

The Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America 2013 was the second in a series of surveys conducted by Common Sense Media. The surveys were designed to document the media environments and behaviors of children up to 8 years ol. “By replicating methods used two years previously, they were able to see what changes, if any, had occurred. You can visit their research page to download the full report.

The amazing growth of mobile media will keep all those in the education field on their toes. I work in a secondary school and we need to take into account the expertise and skill levels of students as they come to us from the primary schools. We all need to look at what we want students to learn and use the best possible means available to assist that.

The infographic below  helps to understand the way the trends are heading. The infographic below breaks down and creates a useful visualisation of some of the important data obtained. Although it is from the US, I think that data obtained here in Australia would be very similar, especially going on some of the results of “straw polls” and talking with our students.


What does this mean for me as a teacher librarian?

I believe that the role of the teacher librarian will focus on teaching students how search properly through the vast amount information available and  then to evaluate the value of that information.

There is another role that libraries, and their staff, are starting to take on, that of being part of the makerspaces movement. Young people have been using library resources as consumers for a long time. Information is growing exponentially, especially as anyone now has access to digital tools for creation and publication. It is becoming important for students to learn how this information production works and how to become a part of this information society.

The library can support the students to become producers. In the past students produced written pieces of work to explain what they garnered from their research. Today in the digital age we can add many more options  and students can create digital artifacts such videos, websites, blogs and e-learning objects. The library can have a role in this as well by assisting students in the production process of these digital artifacts. This could be helping with the choice of the medium e.g.  paper or 3D artifacts, audio, video or web. The library could also assist by providing space, such as recording or editing spaces, and equipment such as cameras, microphones and editing software.  

Much of this fits in neatly with project-based learningThere many teachers who are starting to prefer the PBL approach in schools. PBL is “an instructional approach built upon authentic learning activities that engage student interest and motivation. These activities are designed to answer a question or solve a problem and generally reflect the types of learning and work people do in the everyday world outside the classroom.” taken from PBL Online. This type of learning is right up my alley!


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