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The Future of Children's Media

Comments from Remco van Schadewijk (UNAWE Intern)

8 July 2013

The Future of Children's Media Last week the took place in Sheffield, England, where over 900 delegates met to discuss the future of development, production and distribution of content for kids.

Highlights included discussion of the many new opportunities for education in this digital age and talks ranging from digital learning platforms such as to the online spread of comics such as , which explains diseases to children and their parents.

A research group called presented the results of a survey on how children use media; tracking trends all the way from Blackberry Messenger to Facebook to iPads and, nowadays, apps. It was found that social media tends to become more important as children grow older, Youtube is often the main gateway to online content for children and they have less of a habit of surfing the web than adults, with more interest in apps.

But not everything at the conference was digital and interactive. When younger children aged 5-11 years were asked what type of media they would miss the most, around 50% said television according to the latest surveys by . Perhaps unsurprisingly it was also found that these spent the more time in front of the television set than with any other form of media.

shared with participants the lesson learned during a series of case studies: that teaching kids about the process of learning — how to learn and how to make things — empowers them to learn on their own. Helping them to do so are 3D printers, bridging digital to physical. More and more schools are starting to employ these tools to remove limitations on kids' creativity.

There are many creative ways knowledge and learning can be taught, however. A theatre show by called 'Mission to Mars', explores extra-terrestrial life on our neighbouring planet when the first humans are sent there on a mission. The acclaimed show is aimed at kids and has all sorts of interesting activities connected to it, to further their learning on the topic.

Regardless of the platforms people are using, they all have one thing in common; they're trying to tell a story. It was concluded that whatever you try say, it all starts and ends with a good story!

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The Future of Children's Media
The Future of Children's Media