Last May, I was very fortunate to attend The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop’s 2011 Leadership Forum, Learning from Hollywood, a dynamic conference comprised of a little over 200 leaders from the fields of the entertainment industry, education, technology, research, policy and philanthropy. We were challenged to find ways to work together, leveraging the power of each of our areas, in order to create engaging educational opportunities for young learners, particularly in the area of media usage. Our conversations began by discussing the results of the 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation report, Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-year-olds. The study found that children within those ages devote an average of 7 ½ hours per day using entertainment media (more than 53 hours a week), and because much of that time is spent “media multitasking,” (using more than one medium at a time) they actually manage to pack a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media content into those 7½ hours. Understanding this, the essential question for the Forum was, “How do we capture for educational use the 7 ½ hours per day that children spend engaged with some form of media outside of school?” With that said, I would like to know your thoughts regarding what forms of media you believe have the most potential for enhancing Social Studies education, whether in school or out. Thanks for sharing!
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