Today, satellite and cable television, interactive video and electronic games, the personal computer and the internet are central to the daily lives of children. Yet, little is known about the uses and impact of these new technologies. Children are no longer passive recipients of the media. Use of the internet, participation in e-mail, chat rooms, and instant messaging are some of the ways they are participating with the new media. As their enthusiasm for creating innovative uses of new media shows, children have an important role to play in the future development of new media.
If information and communication technologies (ICT) are indeed an integral part of The New Economy, then how children use ICTs in their daily lives is a crucial research question to address. What is the place of new media especially the internet, in children’s lives today? Will some children be excluded from these opportunities while others live in an increasingly information-rich environment? Will the growing importance of the media add to the variety and pleasure in their lives, or will it contribute to their withdrawal from traditional leisure activities and even from social participation? Lets analyze these questions one after the other.
New media especially the internet has positive effects on Child Development. Childhood is all about exploration, through the interactive world of technology, our children are being shaped by their exploration of computers and the Internet. The modern computer and the Internet offer today’s children a powerful device that, if used appropriately, can enhance the development of the child’s physical, cognitive, and social skills. Children get interested because they can make things happen with the Internet. The Internet is a powerful tool that is revolutionizing our children’s learning, communication and play.
Impact on Physical Development It may not seem to the naked eye that exposure to the Internet would have a positive effect on the physical development of children. However, knowledge of muscular development and motor control skills leads us to deduce that regular Internet usage would naturally enhance a child’s eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills due to keyboard and mouse usage. Impact on Cognitive Development Children who use the Internet show gains in cognitive abilities such as memory, spatial and logical problem solving, critical thinking, concentration, abstraction and comprehension.
The Internet exposes children to information to improve the quality of learning that they can transform into knowledge. Through the use of the Internet, children’s language and literacy development is often promoted, allowing for greater gains in verbal and nonverbal skills. New media also includes interactive video games: Speed of visual processing-There is growing evidence that playing action video games increases people’s ability to process visual information quickly and to make decisions based on that information. So also cartoons on children.
Cartoon films are central focus of many very young children’s lives, used by parents to help manage busy schedules and keep the peace. Many parents also express satisfaction with the educational benefits of TV and how it can teach positive behaviors. Some of these positive effects are : Educational benefits: By watching educational cartoon films, children at every age learn so many things. Infants and toddlers start learning different words, objects and their meanings. Also, they can improve overall cognitive knowledge among young children.
When a kid watches TV in his very early age, he learns many things before going to school. He takes up things easily and tries to learn how to speak and conduct himself. Helps Improve Vocabulary and Learn new languages. Makes a Child feel more confident: While watching their favorite cartoon show, kids adopt many things and sometimes they talk and behave in the same manner as their favorite characters do. Doing so they feel more comfortable and confident that they can talk to people and even can perform in front a crowd Enhance imagination and creativity: By watching cartoon films, children become more creative.
They try to do things in different ways, so their imagination and creativity is enhanced. There is also evidence in the literature that children’s imaginative play can be positively affected by television content. The children get new ideas with which they can show their talent. Develop parent-children relationship: When parents buy different storybooks, watch different cartoons and children programs with their children or let their children to cinemas for watching movies. In each of the above case parents spend time with their children.
As a result parents child relationship is improved. Source of entertainment: Cartoon films are also source of entertainment for every child even for infants and toddlers. Like infants and toddlers enjoy sounds and movement and at the same time they also learn from it. Cell Phones and Their Positive Effects In Nigeria today, 45 percent of teens own their own cell phone, which today is much more than a phone. Many cell phones function as small computers, with Internet capabilities, games, pictures, videos, texting and email.
Cell phones for youth are mobile communication devices that they can use in a wide variety of ways. There are many concerns about the impact of the constant media input that cell phones provide for youth, but there are many advantages as well which includes: Communication: The most obvious benefit of cell phones for youth is their ability to help teens communicate. Although this can be a disadvantage if not properly managed, it is frequently an advantage. A teenager who owns a cell phone is always able to call her parents.
If she’s at a party or a friend’s house and finds herself in an uncomfortable or inappropriate situation, she doesn’t have to find the landline or ask permission to use the phone; she can always call her parents from anywhere, at any time. This is even more valuable in situations where a landline might not be accessible, such as when her car breaks down or she has an accident. For her parents, knowing that their child can easily communicate with them at any time offers peace of mind. Safety: For a teenager, having a cell phone available in emergency situations can make the difference between life and death.
A teen who is suspects she is a witness of criminal activity can call 911 on her cell phone. If necessary, she can even make the call without other people being aware by dialing with the phone still in his pocket. Youths have also used cell phones with video and phone capability to record criminal events, making them into reporters and helping police identify criminals and observe exact events in a crime. Engagement and Education: Cell phones have also been leveraged as an important tool for youth engagement, especially in developing countries and rural areas.
In places where youth are less likely to have access to the Internet or landline phones, cell phones are becoming a way for them to connect with the global world and give their opinions on issues that affect them. For example, a radio program in Burundi in 2009 allowed marginalized rural youth to share their opinions on public policy questions, using cell phones to call in to the radio show. Some teachers and campuses are beginning to take advantage of the educational potential of cell phones.
On some college campuses, students can organize their schedules and take quizzes through their phones. Some high schools take advantage of educational games for cell phones. Educators can also teach students how to use their phones as research tools, which encourages youth to take more initiative in their own learning. With these numerous benefit, another question that comes to mind is: Will some children be excluded from these opportunities while others live in an increasingly information-rich environment?
In a developing country like ours, advances in ICTs have brought a lot of opportunities and perhaps a whole lot of challenges as well. One of the main challenges is the gap between the information have-s and information have-nots -what we call the digital divide. Not every family and child has access to computers, the Internet and interactive media. Persistent differences across socio-economic and ethnic lines have rightly generated an important public policy debate about possible implications and solutions to this inequality.
Major challenges faced in the path towards digital opportunity include poverty, illiteracy, political instability, and poor ICT infrastructure. In closing the “digital divide” , NITDA has since the past five years, set up Many RITCs (Rural Information Technology Centres) in the six geo-political zones to provides a range of services – education and communication facilities so that underprivileged children, with or without any planned instructional intervention, can achieved a certain level of computer literacy.
As expected there has been a remarkable feature among the users, particularly with the young ones, of these centres. Will the growing importance of the media add to the variety and pleasure in their lives, or will it contribute to their withdrawal from traditional leisure activities and even from social participation? The Internet cannot and should not replace human interaction or relationships, nor take the place of activities such as sharing verbal conversations with our children or reading together.
However, if properly used, the Internet can serve as a medium for acceptable social interaction. The Internet allows children to socialize with other children through the use of email, chat rooms, and instant messaging, increasing the development of communication and social skills. As children use the Internet to connect with places around the world and exchange mail with electronic pen pals, they are able to share different cultures and traditions. Often the use of Internet in classrooms allows the children to work together, encouraging the sharing of ideas and cooperative learning.
Students that find conventional methods of learning difficult will frequently find learning via the Internet to be fun. From this positive experience these children improve their attitudes about learning while enhancing their curiosity and self-concept. Many parents whose children use the Internet in school believe that the Internet has improved their child’s overall attitude toward school. “Education is also the single most common motivation parents cite for their children to use the Internet from home. The Internet allows children to actively participate in an independent learning environment.
Children can use it to find inspiration, stimulate the imagination, explore the world and gain new experiences. The process is known as play. Play has its own pursuit of amusement, competition, and companionship – all which can be fulfilled on the Internet. Though it is no true replacement for physical social play, the Internet offers uniques alternatives, which are especially important for those that are physically disabled and unable to engage in physical play. The Internet today is part of our children’s natural environment.
When kids are online, they’re reading, thinking, analyzing, criticizing and authenticating – composing their thoughts. Kids use computers for activities that go hand-in-hand with our understanding of what constitutes a traditional childhood. They use the technology to play, learn, communicate and form relationships as children always have. Truly, the Internet has become a daily part of many children’s lives. It is little wonder that it has such a pervasive effect on their social development. Internet Safety A wide range of potentially negative effects of new media have been identified.
These include effects relating to: Violent content – including imitation (in the form of aggression or antisocial behavior), desensitization and fear • Sexual content – including imitation (in the form of promiscuous or unsafe practices), arousal, and shock or disgust Advertising – in relation to misleading claims, as well as consumerist or materialistic attitudes more broadly Inappropriate or unwanted contact with others – for example in the form of ‘stranger danger’ or bullying • Health – for example to do with smoking, alcohol and drug-taking • General personality disorders, such as low self-esteem, ‘identity confusion’ or alienation • Physical effects of excessive use – for example RSI-type conditions and eyesight problems relating to computers • Reduced time for family interaction, or relationships with peers
• Reduced levels of educational achievement, or reading more specifically • Mistaken values, attitudes or beliefs – for example in relation to gender or ethnic stereotyping. In addition, children are exposed to insults and inappropriate language. The Internet Child Safety Foundation has worked out some safety tips which are as follows: Keep the computer in the living room Listen to your kids and get involved Make some simple rules Consider parental control software Use filtered search engine Check website rating At this point, I must mention that Parental attitudes play a large role in determining what children watch.
Parents who believed that TV was beneficial to children were more likely to choose educational programs for their children. By contrast, parents who have not had opportunities for higher education are more likely to allow their children to watch what they want, and have the television on more during the day. Also, when searching for information, youngsters could be encouraged to use child safe search engines. Parents need to educate their children. They need to sit with the child and help regulate his or her Net routine right from the very first time. This could help prevent addiction. Safe websites for Children http://fss. live. com/kids/Microsoft family safety and child friendly websites http://www. surfnetkids.
com/Educational activities for your family or students, this is the place to be and for educators interested in integrating technology into their curriculum. http://www. crime-safety-security. com/Learn lifesaving lessons from 22 years of research and experience teaching countless children’s groups, college students, civic groups, corporations, rape survivors, and veteran cops at police academies – dozens of original insights you’ve never imagined and will find nowhere else http://www. allsafesites. com/Safe browser for children and teens http://www. kidsites. com/Great series of educational resources, games and fun stuff for children, parents and Teaches www. topmarks. co. uk
Well designed and good fun reference site for all those homework queries. www. askkids.com Safe search engine for children. www. need2know. co. uk Sound, straightforward and well-judged advice for children and teenagers. www. howstuffworks. com Engaging encyclopaedia of the modern (and not so modern) world, with good illustrations and clear text. www. habbo. co. uk Social networking for teens. www. friction. tv A You Tube-style site for campaigners. Make a short video and get your message across. www. mrmen. com Videos, games, stories and more from 24 of Roger Hargreaves’ unbeatable creations.
www. nick. com Play games, share your avatar, download screensavers and catch up on your favourite cartoon characters at the Mecca of TV cartoondom. Plus Nick Junior (www. nickjr. co. uk), customised for pre-schoolers. www. seussville. com A gentle celebration of all things Cat In The Hat. switchzoo. com/zoo. htm From a calligator to a dogophant, create crazy new animals online. www. guinnessworldrecords. com Searchable database of record-breaking feats – but only some, of course, they still want you to buy the book. www. innocentkids. co. uk Great series of games and activities from the smoothies people. Match the animal with its poo is particularly engaging. www. cool-reads. co. uk Ten- to 15-year-olds pick and review their favourite books. More than 2,000 entries and growing. www. travellingwithchildren. co.uk
Tips, products and destinations for taking the little darlings on the road. http://www. commonsensemedia. org/website-listsGreat websites for kids with easy hand-picked lists of fun, age-appropriate kids’ sites and online games. SAFE SEARCH ENGINES FOR CHILDREN www. studysearch. com. au/Home. aspx Its one of the mostly used customizable Search Engine used at Australian schools and it is Google Powered. This is developed by keeping the Primary and Secondary school students in mind. This is the safest Search Engine and best suggestible for Parents for make their kids use it. kids. yahoo. comEngine that directs to the Yahoo Directory and its the most suggestible Search Engine for Kids.
Its one of the most attractive search engines that keeps you child to engage with it easily. www. askkids. comSearch Engine from Ask. com specially developed for Kids and it provides the results from Ask Directory. It provides the 5 different categories like Movies, Videos, Schoolhouse, Games, and Images with entire clean and tidy results www. kidrex. orgGoogle Search powered Search Engine for kids with interface design developed with child crayon drawing. Its completely a kids Search Engine. Popular Television Programs and DVD Series for Young Children Barney & FriendsEvoking a preschool setting, Barney the dinosaur teaches songs and dances to young children.
The show focuses heavily on pro-social themes of sharing, empathizing, helping others, and cooperating. Blue’s CluesA human host encourages viewers at home to help solve a mystery with his dog friend, Blue. The show is often repetitive and encourages interactivity by asking viewers to find clues and solve puzzles. Bob the BuilderBob the Builder and his construction crew face building, renovation, and repair challenges. The series often focuses on identifying a problem and making a plan to solve the problem. Dora the ExplorerFeaturing a bilingual Latina girl as the lead, Dora and her friends go on quests and help others, encouraging viewers to help out through their own actions or by telling her what she needs to know.
In addition to highlighting traditional educational content such as color and shapes, Dora teaches language by repeating words and phrases in English and Spanish. Sesame StreetCombining puppetry, live action, and animation, this long-running series focuses on a wide range of topics including the alphabet, numbers, emotion management, conflict resolution, music, dance, and healthy lifestyles. TeletubbiesCentering on four colorful characters, the Teletubbies speak in a baby-like language and learn through play. The Teletubbies have televisions in their stomachs that show clips of real children from around the world. This program is targeted at toddlers.
Thomas & FriendsBased on a book series, Thomas the Tank Engine and his engine friends learn to work hard and be cooperative with each other. The WigglesFeaturing a four-man singing group for children, episodes of The Wiggles include songs and skits focused on solving a problem. The Wiggles encourages children to sing songs and move their bodies to music. Baby EinsteinSeries content covers wide range of topics including music, art, language, poetry, and science. Targeted at children starting at one month. Brainy BabyEducational series highlighting range of subjects including alphabet, art, music, shapes, foreign languages, and right and left brain development. Targeted at children starting at nine months.
Sesame BeginningsFeatures baby versions of the Muppets from Sesame Street. The focus is on encouraging interactions between child and caregivers. Targeted at children starting at six months. In conclusion, the internet is an amazing tool for learning and formation. Knowing how to use it effectively is increasingly important and necessary. Providing children more direct access to multimedia equipment and Information Communication Technology (ICT), could provide them with new opportunities to explore their own creative imagination. In seeking to prevent negative effects, it is important to ensure that we do not also undermine or preclude the potential for positive effects.