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.

Lack of Broadband Leaves Students Behind

Michigan State University's Quello Center reported this week that middle and high school students with high-speed Internet access at home have more digital skills, higher grades, and perform better on standardized tests, such as the SAT. Regardless of socioeconomic status, students who cannot access the Internet from home or are dependent on a cell phone for Internet access do worse in school and are less likely to attend college or university. The deficit in digital skills contributes to lower student interest in careers related to science, technology, engineering, and math.

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.

Report Reveals Surprising Data About Mobile Broadband Usage in Schools

A recent Mobile Beacon report analyzing mobile broadband usage by non-profit organizations, including schools, finds that schools utilizing Mobile Beacon’s 4G LTE internet service indicate that the ability to supplement and/or extend existing school networks is the greatest benefit of the service. While schools reported that the two main drivers for acquiring Mobile Beacon’s mobile broadband services are the desire for mobile connectivity (41%) and to save money on internet access (28%), they reported that the main benefits of using the services were 1) the ability to supplement/extend an e

Closing the K–12 Digital Divide in the Age of Distance Learning

A full 15 to 16 million public school students across the US live in households without adequate internet access or computing devices to facilitate distance learning. Almost 10% of public school teachers (300,000 to 400,000) are also caught in the gap, affecting their ability to run remote classes. The 32-page report, Closing the K–12 Digital Divide in the Age of Distance Learning, fixes a one-year price tag of at least $6 billion and as much as $11 billion to connect all kids at home, and an additional $1 billion to close the divide for teachers.

Chicago Connected Launches to Provide Free High-Speed Internet Service to Approximately 100K Students

Chicago Connected is a groundbreaking program that will provide free high-speed internet service to approximately 100,000 Chicago Public Schools (CPS) students. This first-of-its-kind program will be one of the largest and longest-term efforts by any city to provide free, high-speed internet over the course of four years to increase internet access for students. According to Census data, an estimated 100,000 students lack access to high-speed internet in Chicago.

Technology Counts 2020: Coronavirus, Virtual Learning, and Beyond

The massive, systemwide move to remote learning over the past few months created huge frustrations for educators. Those sentiments showed up in the results from surveys conducted by the EdWeek Research Center and in Education Week’s reporting. Teacher morale dropped, student engagement was down, and budget cutting plans were already starting. But, at the same time, by necessity, K-12 educators across the country upgraded their tech skills faster than ever before. What impact will those newfound technology and virtual teaching skills have on K-12 education when school buildings reopen?

Coronavirus lockdowns heighten income inequities of school-from-home

Homeschooling students amid the coronavirus pandemic significantly amplifies economic inequities between households. Household income and a family's employment status can determine whether a student has the resources to learn remotely. Income significantly affects access to broadband and data plans, the foundations of keeping up with schoolwork when classes are cancelled.

Challenges of Recreating the Classroom Experience Online

The sudden shift to remote learning has exposed cracks in today's digital teaching strategies, as parents and teachers struggle with the challenges of recreating the classroom experience online. Demand for ed tech services has surged, as has interest in training for teachers to work online. To prepare for the fall, school districts should vet and limit which products they use, says Josh Golin, executive director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.

Senator Markey Leads Bipartisan Call for the FTC to Launch Major Children’s Privacy Investigation

Sens Ed Markey (D-MA), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) wrote to the Federal Trade Commission urging it to use its authority under the FTC Act to launch an investigation into children’s data practices in the educational technology and digital advertising sectors.