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Which digital books work best in the classroom?

The argument over whether children’s digital books count as educational storytime or just screentime has been going on for a while. Given that digital interactive books (often called storyapps) are hybrids of books, short films and digital games, their educational value largely depends on whether they are used to promote specific literacy skills or just […]

Net Children 2020- Creating a Roadmap

I was fortunate to be invited to Net Children 2020 an expert conference organised by the Hans Bredow Institute for Media Research and the  German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. This took place on 16 and 17 April 2015 in Berlin. This was less a conference but rather a working […]

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The first UK Children’s Digital Book Award judged by teachers!

The quality of a child’s digital book is measured by several criteria and there are currently several evaluation rubrics available for evaluating children’s digital books. This is why I’m very excited that in the first UKLA Digital Book Award it will be teachers who will vote for the best children’s digital book. As announced on […]

What theories and practices around digital making are important and distinctive and how can they be connected to media education?

DARE at MES 14: Media, making and learning What theories and practices around digital making are important and distinctive and how can they be connected to media education? In the conversation strand at the recent International Media Education Summit in Prague, members of the DARE collaborative asked this and other questions, drawing on recent case […]

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UKLA: Media Literacies Special Interest Group

On Nov 29, the Media Education Conference at the British Film Institute in London included the first workshop of the United Kingdom Literacy Association’s new Media Literacies special interest group, with the following outcomes: The Centre for Excellence in Media Practice presented findings from a pilot study investigating the media literacy of students in the […]

Children’s Film or rather ‘Paddington’ hits the Headlines

https://theconversation.com/paddington-sex-scandal-the-bear-would-bore-if-he-didnt-break-some-rules-34779 In response to some of the rather disparaging and hypocritical discussions of ‘Paddington’ and children’s media more broadly I created this response for The Conversation. It would be interesting to know what others think. I did break my golden rule of commenting about a film before I had seen it but I was provoked […]

Literacy and new media – a(nother) call for change?

There is nothing new about calling for changes to the literacy curriculum and pedagogy in response to developments in digital media and the practices associated with them. The seminal multiliteracies framework developed by the New London Group is nearly 20 years old (New London Group, 1996) , and literacy researchers have been referring to ‘new’ […]

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What defines an effective community member in the 21st century?

Before the advent of social media, community engagement typically involved meetings and conversations in meetings, conferences, summits and rendezvous. Now much community activity happens online and there is considerable academic and practical effort to foster children’s effective understanding and safe and active involvement in online environments. Community engagement in the 21st century is therefore about […]

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Children’s reading heroes of today

Many people feel that reading fast is the only way to keep up with the large volumes of text they encounter on a daily basis. For some people, to read fast is to follow in the footsteps of their favourite super (s)heroes – the latest of which is played by Scarlett Johansson in her new […]

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Best apps for schools: what do teachers want?

As part of our ongoing work to develop criteria for assessing the quality of children’s digital books and apps, we ran a number of workshops with teachers in local schools and asked them about what they think a good digital book or app should look like and contain. Some of these teachers had never used iPads […]

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