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.
Children and Media
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.
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.
The House Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Communications and Technology held a legislative hearing on four bills:
Internet problems continue to slow down many students in the US state of New Mexico, but a pilot project using TV signals to transmit computer files may help. On November 18, state public education officials distributed devices to eight families in the city of Taos (NM) that allow schools to send them digital files via television. The boxes the size of a deck of cards allow digital television receivers to connect with computers using technology called datacasting.
In 2020, we saw the consequences of the digital divide: the have and the have nots of broadband. Many students—particularly children and those residing in predominantly rural areas—fell unacceptably behind. 2021 is proving to be no different, and in some communities, it is even more dire, as many schools offer fewer online options for families. Thankfully, there are a few ways we can ensure that students are not left behind:
A bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general announced it is investigating how Instagram attracts and affects young people, amping up the pressure on parent company Meta Platforms over potential harms to its users.
Passage of the Infrastructure legislation on November 5 was truly historic—surely the biggest boost ever to bringing high-speed broadband to every American household. While we get about the job of building broadband, we need to take up other communications issues that have been of even longer gestation and which have just as much, maybe more, urgency for our country. High on my list is media reform.
What is missing in the focus on getting laptops in the hands of children is the social component of learning—a component all too often taken for granted or even disparaged. As a culture, the United States has long loved the heroic idea of children teaching themselves. Movies and stories constantly retell this narrative of scrappy young people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. These myths are especially common regarding technical knowledge.
Sen Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wrote a letter to Snap CEO Evan Spiegel urging him to release internal data pertaining to the company's effect on children and teens. Blumenthal requested the following by November 24, 2021:
In the summer of 2021, Illinois became the first state to require one unit of media literacy for all high school students. Media literacy can help young people critically examine the information they consume.