Children in the Digital Age

Children in the Digital Age - Children in the Digital Age...

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Children in the Digital Age After 50 years of controversy over the impact of television on children, a new world of online media is emerging that may have even greater impact on them. Almost one million children in the United States are now using the World Wide Web, according to a research and consulting firm specializing in interactive technology, and 3.8 million have Web access - a figure that will grow rapidly in coming years. Like adults, children will increasingly be connected to a vast digital universe that transcends the family, the local community, and even the nation. Education will expand beyond the classroom and other traditional settings, as more interactive "edutainment" becomes available. New personal and portable technologies will enable children to inhabit their own separate electronic worlds. The dazzling graphics and engaging interactivity of the new multimedia technologies will make them potent forces in the lives of children. If harnessed properly, the new media could enhance their drive to learn, provide them with access to a rich diversity of information and ideas, and enable them to reach across community and national borders. But there is also peril: Video game channels, virtual shopping malls, and manipulative forms of advertising targeted at children could further compound the problems in the existing media that have troubled parents, educators, and child advocates for decades. We are in the midst of the formative stage of this new digital age. Government policies are being debated and enacted, marketing and programming strategies are being developed, and services for children are being designed. If we are to believe some hyperbolic visions of cyberspace, the information superhighway will be a great equalizing force that will bring unprecedented opportunity for all. Improvements in education and other benefits for children are often at the center of these visions. But history offers us cautionary lessons. In this century enthusiasts have hailed every new medium - from radio to FM to television to cable to satellites - with claims that it would reinvigorate our culture, expand educational opportunities, and enhance the democratic process. None has lived up to these claims. In each case, powerful commercial forces have used civic values to gain support for the new medium - and then squelched the very policies necessary to serve the public good. In this recent phase, powerful media companies have already poured vast amounts of money into lobbying to shape the 1996 Telecommunications Act . From the beginning, corporations were able to frame the debate. While some political leaders, such as Al Gore as a senator, compared the new information superhighway to the interstate highway system, the Clinton administration's vision quickly became a privately built and operated national information infrastructure (NII). The Telecommunications Act is designed to encourage competition by deregulating the telecommunications market. Public interest
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This note was uploaded on 08/29/2011 for the course EDU 101-404 taught by Professor Ide during the Spring '11 term at DeVry Phoenix.

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Children in the Digital Age - Children in the Digital Age...

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