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New Media Education

Fun or Hype?

Is the use of new media to educate children effective? why or why not?

Why? Children are able to learn by themselves as they participate in their own learning instead of sitting in their classrooms. Sugata Mitra’s TED talk -He set up computers which had internet in New Delhi and they picked up using comput ers within four hours. -Posed questions in an Italian classroom of students who did not know English and they came up with answers all by themselves using the internet.

-The Gateshead Experiment 2009 -6 GCSE Questions solved within 40 minutes maximum. Two months later he came back with a paper test the same questions and they solved it with a score of 76% which was the same score two months ago due to photographic memory. Mainly due to group discussions too.

Why? Textbooks can be quite dry whereas new media is a more engaging medium -Searching for a particular queries are more convenient compared to manually searching in a textbook -Videos and Podcasts provide a more compelling option. -Websites like Wikipedia, Jstor(e-Journals), or videos available on enhances

New media equips teachers with tools to make class fun. provides a platform for teachers to create games for classroom activities and making it available online to students. -iPhone, iTouch, iPad applications -From simple games such as Wurdle to a fun word finding game for kids aged 5 and up, to Spel It Right for learning spelling, to Open Culture which gives you free access to educational media collections such as audio books, foreign language lessons, science podcasts and more.

Why? Teachers and children are embracing the participatory culture of new media. Teachers -Make use of new media for projects instead of essay writing and research to educate children about a particular subject. Children -Uploading their own videos and powerpoints that they have done for projects via YouTube and Slideshare. -This creates a sense of accomplishment when people comment and view it encouraging them take more interest in a particular subject or make more of these videos and sildeshows for the masses. Now they can display their work for not only their own class but for the whole world.


In less developed countries where people cannot afford education, initiatives by organizations provide essential aid. -One laptop per child -An initiative set up by a nonprofit organisation. A $100 laptop was designed to be distributed children of developing countries. Equipped with wireless technology, these laptops aim to allow children the access to technology.

The new design of the one laptop per child to be available in 2012. Source: <>

-Sakshat -A $35 tablet computer designed to bridge the digital divide was invented in India. It aims to educate many students through an e-learning programme.

Prototype of Indiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s $35 Tablet.

Why Not? New media should be used with a guardian or teacher or with parental controls -Children might have the tendency to be distracted Instead of focusing at the task at hand, they might play online games that are easily available or sidetrack, accessing social networks instead. -Participatory media such as chat rooms or social networks might lead them astray into the hands of criminals and internet sexual predators. -Some websites provide false information with no sound evidence. If one does not cross reference with other websites and books, children might pick up inaccurate information.

-Thus it is important for parents to educate their children that not all information and people that one finds or meets online is trustworthy. They need to educate children to use their knowledge of what they know to make moral judgements.

Why Not? New media does not have the personal touch that only teachers and parents can provide. >Especially during the younger years of children where an interest in learning more can be better encouraged by an adult. >Without teachers or parents, each individual cannot be accessed. If a child were to feel unmotivated, teachers or parents can be there to encourage him where as new media is just a medium. > Teachers and parents inspire children to pursue a certain career path or interest which eventually evolves into dreams and goals to fulfil.

New media only displays the theory of how to do something and often, safety guides are not always given. >YouTube videos or web pages containing instructions to science experiments do not have the cautionary measure of a teacher. >Teachers are there to prevent any dangers from happening and warn students.

Why Not? Not all videos/Television shows are effective in educating children -Walt Disney Companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Baby Einstein, a DVD collection -Parents assume they can park their children in front of the television by themselves when they should be sitting beside them watching the video and interacting with them instead. -Frederick Zimmerman and Dr. Dimitri Christakis, both at the University of Washington led a research party that discovered that children pick up less vocabulary words compared to children who do not watch the videos. -The American Academy of Paediatrics advises against watching television for children under the age of 2 -As children grow older, watching television shows such as sesame street will not be as good as communicating with another person as children often imitate what we adults speak and do. -Some interaction must be available to allow children to learn.

Final Conclusion One cannot rely on new media completely One should look at it as more of a tool than a replacement to education. Parents and teachers must not be lax if they want their children to have a wholesome education.

However, new media is indeed changing the way of learning. Powerpoint and playing videos during lessons are becoming the norm in developed countries. Teachers and parents make use of new media actively to aid children in their learning process. Need to allow more ready access of new media for children in developing countries so that they too can discover and learn more.

Bibliography Baby Einstein: Not So Smart After All 12 March 2011 <,8599,1650352,00.html> Debunking Baby Einstein 12 March 2011 <> New Media Literacy In Education: Learning Media Use While Developing Critical Thinking Skills 12 March 2011 <> The Top Educational iPhone/iPad Apps 12 March 2011 <> Sugata Mitraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s new experiments in self-teaching 12 March 2011 <> OLPC Website 12 March 2011 <> UNESCO Programme Grants Funding To 62 New Media Projects In Developing Countries 12 March 2011 <> India to launch Sakshat Tablet 12 March 2011 <>

New Media Education  

Is new media effective in educating children?