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Benefits of Modern Media

Angela Oswalt Morelli , MSW, edited by Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.

There are many benefits to be had from enabling children's access to modern media, including the Internet and the digital video, audio, and text formats that are part of the Internet.

Research Becomes Easier

Via media, children gain access to significant educational, creative, artistic, communication, and recreational opportunities that they would not otherwise have. For example, access to online books, pictures, blogs, documentary films and music enables kids to learn about different cultures around the world. Research information needed for completing school reports and projects; and answer to questions about science, history, math, or literature are generally easy to locate with the aid of a search engine like Google.

Schools generally recognize the importance of the Internet for student learning and encourage its use for research projects. In fact, once students reach middle school and high school, they are expected to use the Internet to find credible resources and data for school projects. Helping kids to know where to find credible information online has become an important skill for schools to teach.

Teaching and Learning Become Easier

Access to media makes it easier for kids to learn, and to become motivated to learn. For example, software programs are available that teach children how to become proficient touch-typists ( an essential skill for the digital age). Innovative language exchange community websites such as Archive.org's Audio and Live Music Archive sections and ClassicCat.net, and streaming services like Pandora and iHeart Radio. Broadcast radio from around the globe is streamed through the Internet in every language imaginable, much of it freely available and cataloged nicely at RadioTime.com.

Children may also benefit from watching video of performance art, including dance and theater, delivered on DVD's, recorded television programs, movies, or streamed through the web via sites like YouTube. Renting or borrowing a DVD or listening to music on the Internet is much cheaper than regularly buying tickets to concerts, plays, and recitals, and much more convenient as well, as performances of many fine arts only take place in larger cities. Through the Internet, children may join affinity communities which exist to promote various arts and through that medium, form relationships with other children interested in those arts.

There are also video games on the market, such as RockBand and Guitar Hero that allow players to pretend they are playing musical instruments or are dancing in front of a crowd. Children do not create music in these activities, but the subject matter of these games may end up promoting a later interest in creative activities.

Modern media can also help youth to create their own art. Inexpensive software programs such as Apple's Garage Band make it possible for a child's computer to become a multitrack recording studio. Similar tools are available for editing video, audio, and photographs. Today's youth can use these readily available tools to create original works of art and then use the Internet to publish their work on their personal webpage or on a community sharing site such as YouTube or Flickr. Youth who like to write poetry or stories may also choose to share their work with the larger public through similar specialty communities as well.

 

 




Contact Information

Sarah Dinklage, LICSW
Executive Director

sdinklage@risas.org

Charles Cudworth, MA
Director, SAS

ccudworth@risas.org

Leigh Reposa, MSW, LICSW
Program Manager
lreposa@risas.org

Colleen Judge, LMHC                  Manager, SAS
cjudge@risas.org 

Kathleen Sullivan
Manager, Community Prevention
ksullivan@risas.org


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