I spent last weekend- yes Memorial Day weekend- at the International Communications Association (ICA) Conference in Boston, MA. This is a very large conference of Communication Researchers, but we now have our own Children and Adolescent Media Division at ICA! Therefore there area always really great, relevant studies presented here.
Also this year there was a wonderful Pre-Conference that was organized by Michael Rich and Dafna Lemish to discuss Children and Media in a smaller group. The pre-conference addressed multiple issues including: communication between media researchers and producers, communication between media researchers across different disciplines, and communication to parents and the news media to make sure that the important research that we all do gets to the public in an appropriate and understandable way.
Wonderful websites/Resources for Parents:
PlayLearnParent received a wonderful shout-out by Alison Bryant, President and Founder of PlayScience, as one way to communicate with Parents. PlayScience offers a wonderful blog that is a fabulous place for Parents to get more information about all things media. See their most recent post about “Pink Toys“. PlayScience also offers a Facebook page where you can see additional updates on media related research, new stories, etc.
Another wonderful resource for parents is Ask the Mediatrician which is a website (and is also on Facebook) where parents can write in and ask Pediatrician/Mediatrician Dr. Michael Rich-the Director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health- their questions related to children and media.
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center has a wonderful website, a terrific blog, and a wonderful resource on their Research and Initiatives. The Joan Ganz Cooney Center is an independent research and innovation lab that was created in the legacy of Joan Ganz Cooney and her dedication to children’s media which led to the creation of Sesame Street.
Sesame Workshop offers wonderful resources for parents! One of their initiatives is the Learning is Everywhere which provides parents with ways to include learning opportunities in their everyday life. This initiative offers videos clips, activities, and tips for parents to follow (in both english and spanish) to provide parents with resources to help their children prepare for school.
With technology, the ability to reach and provide resources for parents internationally has grown but with so much “out there” sometimes it’s hard to know where to look. I hope this post provided some help for parents for places to begin looking for answers!