Children and Media

Exposure to educational television has been shown to have positive effects on the social, intellectual, and educational development of children. Is it possible to find truly educational content on broadcast television? Articles below deal with 1) television broadcasters' obligation to provide educational programming for children, 2) efforts to shield children from indecenct programming, 3) advertising aimed at children and 4) children and violence.

Google and YouTube Will Pay Record $170 Million for Alleged Violations of Children’s Privacy Law

Google and its subsidiary YouTube will pay a record $170 million to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission and the New York Attorney General that the YouTube video sharing service illegally collected personal information from children without their parents’ consent.

A Preview of the FCC's July Open Meeting: Taking the "E" Out of EBS and TV

Perhaps the biggest news of the week was the agenda for the Federal Communications Commission's July 10 Open Meeting, which FCC Chairman Ajit Pai laid out in a blog post on June 18, 2019. I'm traveling to New York this week; below is a shorter-than-usual weekly that takes a look at how Chairman Pai plans to take education out of the Educational Broadband Service -- and broadcast television.

Bridging the digital divide for students with disabilities

The unexpected shift to the remote workplace and classroom brought on by COVID-19 has left many families across the country with inequitable access to devices and technology infrastructure, a problem known as the digital divide. For students with disabilities, the digital divide is not only an issue of access to broadband and technological devices, but also about ensuring that the technology is 

Connect All Students: How States and School Districts Can Close the Digital Divide

How did stakeholders respond to school closings and the digital divide --  and what lessons can be learned from those efforts to close the digital divide going forward? This report highlights case studies at the state, city, and school district level and concludes that there are three key steps in the still unfinished endeavor of closing the K–12 digital divide during the pandemic.

COVID-19 gives the FCC a platform to leverage educational programming

Months before COVID-19, the Federal Communications Commission voted to loosen broadcasters’ obligations to carry core “educational and informative” content across their networks. The National Association of Broadcasters thanked the FCC profusely, touting that obligations to carry “low-rated children’s programming” would have serious economic consequences when stations were already dealing with shrinking profits.

Remote learning is deepening the divide between rich and poor

Peru, the nation with the world’s highest coronavirus mortality rate, is also one of dozens of countries where schools nationwide remain closed on account of the pandemic, with no reopening date in sight. The quarantine here is particularly severe; children 14 and under are permitted out of their homes only one hour per day. Some families can afford workarounds. Students from families wealthy enough to pay for private schools have kept their educations going with private tutors and interactive classes on home computers.

Why education technology can’t save remote learning

Even the best technology can't eliminate the inherent problems of virtual schooling. Several key technological stumbling blocks have persisted in keeping remote learning from meeting its full potential. 

Chairman Pai's Response to Senators Regarding Helping Students Maintain Connectivity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

On Sept 17, 2020, 36 Democratic and 2 Independent Senators wrote to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to demand that the FCC take immediate action to help children who lack internet access at home and are unable to participate in online learning. Specifically, they called on Chairman Pai to utilize the E-Rate program to close this "homework gap" without further delay.

900 children in suburban Cook County public housing to get free laptops as remote learning continues to present digital barriers

Hundreds of school-age children in suburban Cook County (IL)  public housing will get free laptops paid for by federal coronavirus stimulus money starting Oct 7, as part of an ongoing effort to ensure digital access after the COVID-19 pandemic upended in-person learning. About $270,000 of CARES Act money allocated to the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) will be used to purchase laptops for 900 students who live in the public housing complexes to keep and otherwise would struggle to complete remote learning.

Cox Investing $60 Million to Close Distance Learning Gap

Saying the COVID-19 pandemic can't be allowed to create an "irreversible" learning gap for students without access to the internet, Cox is teaming up with Common Sense Media to try and do something about it. Cox is pledging $60 million over the next year to help close the digital learning divide. Cox will also extend its offer to new Connect2Compete customers. If they sign up by year's end, they will get two months free, followed by $9.95 per month internet. Cox's outdoor WiFi hotspots will also remain open to all comers.