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.

To vaccinate America, close the digital divide

All over the country people in the over 65-year-old age group are having issues registering to receive the vaccine. As states and municipalities launch rollouts through shiny portals on their websites, it appears that the seemingly mundane issue of basic internet use and access threatens to bring vaccine distribution to a halt in many communities. This goes beyond technical bugs, or even the ‘usability’ of the websites. It’s about access — to the hardware, to the software, to the knowledge of how to interact with technology, to a robust internet connection and to Wi-Fi.

Looking Back, Looking Forward: What it will take to permanently close the K-12 digital divide

This is the third in our series of reports on the digital divide with Boston Consulting Group, and presents a clear roadmap for closing it once and for all. The report offers new and more granular detail on the root causes of the digital divide, cites work by many other groups in this field, and shows that previous COVID relief efforts have still left millions of kids caught in the gap and have funded mainly short-short-term solutions that are set to expire.

Connectivity in the Time of COVID

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the necessity of broadband became incontrovertible. Attending school, working from home, visiting a doctor, and accessing government services all relied on reliable broadband connections. For many, bridging the digital divide emerged as an even-more-urgent priority. We’ve tracked the stories that best explain the complexities of the digital divide and the crucial policy responses. Here’s our list. 

FTC Issues Orders to Nine Social Media and Video Streaming Services Seeking Data About How They Collect, Use, and Present Information

The Federal Trade Commission is issuing orders to nine social media and video streaming companies, requiring them to provide data on how they collect, use, and present personal information, their advertising and user engagement practices, and how their practices affect children and teens. The FTC is issuing the orders under Section 6(b) of the FTC Act, which authorizes the FTC to conduct wide-ranging studies that do not have a specific law enforcement purpose.

Video Is Eating the World, Broadband Fails to Keep Up

Connected Nation finds that 47 percent of US school districts—6,132, to be exact, representing about one-third of public K-12 students—meet the 1 Mbps/student standard. Still, that means about two-thirds of students lack what Connected Nation calls “scalable broadband” in schools. The broadband gap isn’t only a problem for remote learning. “Early childhood” videos on YouTube nearly all have advertising. And as video dominates online instruction, more educators need easy-to-use resources for video creation.

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.