Children, Adolescents, and Media (Spring semester 2020) The goal of this assignment is to apply the knowledge learned in the course and to exhibit a deep familiarity and understanding of the learned material in the lectures and in the reading materials of the course. Thus, the assignment should reflect a wide and diverse range of ideas related to the course, make strong and clear connections between the ideas raised in the assignment and those addressed in the course and the reading materials, and exhibit original and critical thinking about the content of the course. For this, answer all three questions below according to their detailed instructions: Question #1 – 40 points (for the entire answer), up to 2 pages (for the entire answer): According to the Israel Internet Association (June 2020), Tik Tok, which was invented in 2017, is one of the most popular social applications (apps) among children and adolescents worldwide, and in Israel, today. The app allows us to upload lip-synch videos (that is, matching the person’s lip movements to those of a song playing in the background) while dancing and with the use of effects and filters as well as humor. The duration of most Tik Tok videos is 15 seconds. Recently, Tik Tok has significantly extended the options given to its users and is integrating new ideas. Among others, Tik Tok recognizes the interests of each user and “pushes” video clips that fit their interests through artificial intelligence. Active viewers of the app can, beyond uploading videos, also “like” favorite videos. The more “likes” a video receives, the more it is promoted by the app. Tik Tok videos can be shared outside of the app as well, for example, through Whatsapp. According to the Israel Internet Association, alongside the creativity and fun of using this app, which also allows exposure to children from all around the world, Tik Tok also presents some risks and challenges, such as exposure to videos with problematic content or harmful content toward others, and a possible risk to privacy. As can be seen in the attached BBC News article (18 June 2020; see appendix A), recently Tik Tok has announced its entrance into the educational clips market. For the first time, Tik Tok will pay universities, foundations, experts, and artists to create educational videos. According to the article, the integration of such professional content into Tik Tok matches the micro-learning trend by which people learn from small units of content online. It will also allow Tik Tok to engage with topics that interest young people and that are important to them. In this question, you are asked to propose four (4) recommendations that can serve as guidelines for the creators of the new educational content on Tik Tok. The recommendations should focus on the app’s young audience – adolescents ages 13-18 – who will serve as the central target audience for the educational videos. The recommendations should focus on creating educational videos that fit the target audience in terms of their cognitive and social development. In writing the recommendations, take into consideration knowledge from the course about the effects of media content on adolescents and suggest guidelines that will help maximize the positive effects of the content and minimize the negative risks that might arise from exposure to the videos. Make sure to write 4 mutually exclusive recommendations and for each recommendation, present the rationale explaining it. Make sure to base the recommendations and the rationale on the course materials and the course readings. Question #2 – 40 points (for the entire answer), up to 2 pages (for the entire answer): On the verge of summer vacation from educational institutions, and in the midst of an already challenging time in light of the Coronavirus, new media technologies and the applications (apps) that they include are a preferred pastime activity for children and adolescents. The attached article from the online magazine Good Housekeeping (March 23, 2020; appendix B) reports on 17 apps that are recommended for children and adolescents. The criteria used in testing these apps for the article were the apps’ safety and their friendliness of use. Of the apps reviewed in the article, there are several free apps intended for preschool children, in the age range of 3-5 years – these are the apps on which we focus in this question: (1) ABCMouse.com, (2) Epic, (3) Hungry Caterpillar Play School, (4) Quick Math Jr., and (5) Starfall ABCs. Details about these apps can be found in the attached article. In this question, you are asked to choose one (1) of the five apps detailed above, become familiar with it through personal experience with the app, and then write your own evaluation of the app, taking into consideration the target audience of 3-5-year-olds. The evaluation should focus on four (4) aspects of the app and the arguments should be based on content from the course and the reading materials. Note that the evaluation of the app does not need to focus only on educational aspects but can also address its entertainment potential, its ability to attract the young audience’s attention and maintain it, interest the young audience, lead to enjoyment, etc. Make sure that the four points of evaluation are mutually exclusive from one another and that each one is based on a clear rationale explaining it that is based on the course material and readings. Question #3 – 20 points (for the entire answer), up to1 page (for the entire answer): The concept “tweens” refers to a transitional age group – between childhood and adolescence, around ages 8-12. In this question, you should locate one (1) article that answers the following criteria: the article’s main topics are tweens and media, the article is outside of the current course’s syllabus, it was published in an academic journal in 2015 or later, the article is empirical (that is, the article presents an original study – either quantitative or qualitative; it is not a theoretical article or a literature review alone). You must link the article to the course, the topics addressed in the course, and/or the course reading materials. From your arguments linking the article to the course, it will be evident what the goal of the study was and what was found in the article with regard to tweens and media. It is recommended to link the chosen article to a range of topics or ideas from the course. The arguments must be strongly supported (e.g., defining all concepts, etc.). The article should be attached as a PDF file to the submitted paper (or uploaded as a separate file with the assignment). General instructions for writing the final course assignment: The paper should be submitted as a Word document (or an equivalent format on Mac). It should not be submitted in PDF format. The paper should be typed using 12 points, Times New Roman font, double spaced, and with 2 cm margins on each side of the page. You must adhere to the page limit for each question; any deviance from these limits will not be graded. The paper must be written in an academic format, following the guidelines of APA, as learned in the Academic Writing Workshop. The combined reference list for all answers should be attached at the end of the paper and is not considered within the page limit of the assignment. The reference list should also follow APA guidelines. The grade on this assignment will constitute 80% of the final course grade. This assignment is individual and must be written independently by the submitting student. The paper must be original to this course. Any suspicion of violation of academic integrity will be handled by the IDC’s disciplinary committee. The paper must be submitted by Friday, July 31, 2020, on the course website. Late assignments will not be graded. Appendix A – Article from BBC News about Tik Tok Technology TikTok makes moves into education market By Osman IqbalBBC Click 18 June 2020 Image caption Rachel Riley will be among the contributors to the education initiative Social media giant TikTok has announced plans to commission hundreds of experts and institutions to produce educational content for the platform. Universities and charities are among those who will be paid to create bespoke content for the social media giant. The new focus could appeal to the trend for micro-learning, said, one expert. TikTok has been downloaded more than two billion times on iOS and Android since it was launched globally in 2017. It allows users to make videos up to 15 seconds long, with music in the background. With its success built on user-generated entertainment videos, the move to incorporate professionally produced learning content marks a significant shift, as the company attempts to diversify its content. At launch, videos will include British actor Sean Sagar sharing tips on preparing for auditions, and TV presenter, and mathematician Rachel Riley helping to develop maths skills. Speaking exclusively to BBC Click, Rich Waterworth, TikTok’s general manager for Europe, said the platform had noticed users’ interest in educational videos, with more than seven billion views of the hashtag #LearnOnTikTok. “Going forward, LearnOnTikTok is about us investing in partners and content creators with a breadth of professional content… We think this is about applying the power of TikTok to learning: the effects, the audio, the transitions, the tools that make it so engaging and fun, to make people enjoy learning.” Disney boss Martin Jefferies, social media manager at English Heritage, a charity that manages over 400 historical sites in the UK, believes access to TikTok’s younger audience provides opportunities to explore different types of content. “We think that TikTok is a safe space to explore stories that matter most to young people, so things like black history, LGBTQ stories from some of our sites, women’s history as well – it feels like a very safe, welcoming environment.” Image copyrightGETTYImage captionTikTok is the first Chinese social media platform to become a global phenomenon With professionally produced videos now being introduced alongside user-generated content, Jamie MacEwan, a research analyst at Enders Analysis, suggests that Disney’s former head of streaming taking the helm at TikTok, could signal a new direction for the platform. “TikTok really wants to broaden its appeal and we are going to see more structured, more premium content going forward. This ties into the new CEO, Kevin Mayer, coming from Disney. We know him as a deal-maker for content and we’re sure to see more partnerships going forward.” At Disney, Mr. Mayer oversaw the successful launch of the firm’s streaming service, Disney Plus, in November 2019. It now has more than 50 million subscribers. He was also considered a key figure in the company’s acquisitions of Lucasfilm, Pixar, and Marvel. With the app centered around short-form content, Dr. Elizabeth Hidson, a senior lecturer in education at the University of Sunderland, points out that the platform will be following an already existing trend in online learning. “Most of us will be familiar with the idea of going online to find instructional videos,” she said. “This idea of small units of learning is already well established in online education – we call it micro-learning.” Appendix B – Article from Good Housekeeping about recommended apps for children and adolescents 17 Best Apps for Kids, According to Parents and Kids Alike Download now — keep them busy for hours! BY PAIGE ROBINSON Mar 23, 2020, It can be hard to keep kids occupied sometimes, especially when school is out. That’s why you typically reach for tablets, phones, or other electronic devices for your kids to play with when they’re bored. But it can be difficult to figure out which apps are worth downloading (and even buying) — let alone deciding which ones are safe and kid-friendly. That’s why the Good Housekeeping Institute tested a bunch of apps on the market and consulted our consumer panel (made up of real parents and their children!) in order to find the best ones to download. Whether your kid is in pre-school or high school, there are fun, educational, and even some free apps on this list for them, no matter what they’re interested in. Grab your charger (or portable battery) and download the best apps for kids in 2019: 1ABCmouse.com Best Overall App for Kids This pick is an overwhelming favorite among all of our testers. ABCmouse.com is available both as an app and a website. It uses fun storyline-based videos, quizzes, and activities — there’s even a virtual map outlining your child’s learning path to keep kids engaged. Our parent testers said they loved ABCmouse.com even before we started testing the best apps for kids! Ages: 2-8 Cost: One-month free trial, then $10/month subscription Get it for iOS, Android, or on the Amazon App Store 2Epic! Best Reading App for Kids Epic! is an app for kids with an e-book library that contains over 35,000 children’s books (and it includes a read-to-me feature for little ones who are still learning to read). One of our parent testers says it’s “a great app to have when the kids want screen time, but you don’t!” This app is a perfect way to take reading wherever your device goes, and it’s great for families with kids of various ages. Ages: 2-12 Cost: one-month free trial, then $8/month Get it for iOS or Android 3Hungry Caterpillar Play School Pre-School This app is perfect to help kids learn the skills they’ll need for starting school. Hungry Caterpillar Play School has five main areas of learning for kids to play in — shapes and colors, alphabet, numbers, book reading, and arts and puzzles. The app’s design has beautiful realistic and 3D details while staying true to the bright colors and style of the beloved Eric Carle book it’s based on. Ages: 1-5 Cost: free to download, $6/month or $50/year subscription Get it for iOS, Android, or on the Amazon App Store 4Quick Math Jr. Best App for Kids in Elementary School Kids know that math can be boring, but this app transforms numbers into something more creative and interactive. Quick Math Jr. is an app for kids with 12 different math games that feature fundamental math skills and concepts. It has unique graphics and buildable characters to keep kids engaged, and all answers are handwritten or drawn on the screen so kids can also practice handwriting. Ages: 4-8 Cost: free Get it for iOS 5Stack the States 2 Best App for Kids in Middle School Part game, part educational tool, Stack the States helps kids learn geography and general knowledge about different states through a game. Each right answer leads to winning a state to add to your stack, and the ultimate goal is stacking your states to a certain height. The app keeps itself fun and fresh by offering three other games that kids can unlock as they complete different rounds. There’s also a version for countries. Ages: 10+ Cost: $3 Get it for iOS or Android 6Duolingo Best App for Kids in High School The Duolingo Owl (the app’s mascot and icon) has been popping up as a meme all over social media in recent months, so chances are your high schooler knows what Duolingo is. Encourage them to take it one step further and download the app so they can learn a different language. They can practice through audio, word identification, and oral exercises for over 30 languages — it’s a great way for your child to keep their language-learning skills sharp over the summer. PS: Parents can use this app, too! Ages: 10+ Cost: free, optional ad-free Duolingo Plus is $6.99/month Get it for iOS or Android 7Toca Hair Salon 3 Best Dress-Up App for Kids Toca Hair Salon 3 is perfect for kids who are always wanting to play dress up or get crafty. Kids can use this app to imagine, explore, and express their creativity because they can style hair any way they want (think: cut, style, color, curl, braid, and shave) on various characters. There are no instructions, so kids are free to experiment as they want. Ages: 3-7 Cost: $4 Get it for iOS, Android, or on the Amazon App Store 8Lightbot: Code Hour Best Beginner Coding App for Kids Lightbot: Code Hour introduces kids of all ages to the basic concepts of coding and the logic that computer programmers use to write code — all without having to actually code! Instead, the app has kids get Lightbot through different pathways by using functions commonly found in code. This app is a great way to get your kid interested in coding and computer programming, without overwhelming them. Ages: 8+ Cost: free Get it for iOS or Android 9Starfall ABCs Best App for Kids Learning the Alphabet This app gives kids a fun, animated introduction to learning letters, vowels, and words. It also includes the sign language alphabet. If you upgrade to the paid version of Starfall ABCs, you’ll get some extra perks like lessons on math and social skills — but the free version is still pretty impressive! Ages: 2-5 Cost: free, option to upgrade for $35/year Get it for iOS or Android 10Brainpop Jr. Movie of the Week For 20 years, Brainpop has been providing kids all over the world with in-depth, yet easy to understand educational videos on everything ranging from Mozart to food allergies. Brainpop Jr. Movie of the Week is an app that gives younger kids access to these videos, plus short quizzes on them. You’ll need a subscription to access the full library of videos, but the free version still gets you the movie of the week, plus more free videos on internet safety, bullying, and other subjects. Brainpop also has a version for older kids too! Ages: 6-9 Cost: free, optional subscription is $6.99/month Get it for iOS, Android, or on the Amazon App Store 11Swift Playgrounds Swift Playgrounds is an app for older kids (and adults!) that was created by Apple to introduce people to the coding language that app developers across the globe use. In the app, you can learn the basics of the coding language through puzzles, targeted lessons, and dynamic visuals. The app is gorgeous to look at and fun to play, but it works best on iPads. Ages: 9+ Cost: free Get it for iOS 12Nick Jr. Nick Jr.’s app offers parents the chance to let their kids enjoy their favorite shows on the go — no TV required! The app has videos from all of Nick Jr.’s shows and a collection of games (both educational and not-so educational) based on Nick Jr. shows that feature your kids’ favorite characters. To unlock some parts of the app, you’ll need to enter your cable provider’s information. Even without it, your kid will still be able to use the features they’ll be most excited about: full episodes and lots of games! Ages: 2-7 Cost: free, some content requires cable provider information Get it for iOS, Android, or on the Amazon App Store 13Youtube Kids From toddler Instagram influencers to 8-year-old YouTube stars, so many kids are getting into social media and video nowadays. YouTube Kids is an app that screens YouTube content and only shows what’s appropriate for kids ages 2-12. However, parents remember that no algorithm is perfect — they should still make sure to set the parental controls and check their child’s watch history regularly. But still, our parent testers said they regularly use the app for their kids. Ages: 2-12 Cost: free Get it for iOS or Android 14PBS Kids Games The PBS Games app allows your kids access to a full collection of educational games based on PBS shows, anywhere, and anytime. Games cover all types of subjects, from math to reading, and much more. It’s a great companion to PBS Video, which is another free app with a library of PBS show episodes and clips. Ages: 2-7 Cost: free Get it for: iOS, Android, or on the Amazon App Store 15Elmo Loves 123s Elmo Loves 123s uses everyone’s favorite character to get toddlers and young kids excited about learning their first numbers. The app uses videos, games, and drawing to help kids memorize number shapes and learn how to count. This app purposely makes it hard for kids to exit the app on their own, meaning toddlers won’t be messing around on your phone or tablet! There’s also an Elmo Loves ABCs app for learning the alphabet. Ages: 2-5 Cost: $5 Get it for: iOS, Android, or on the Amazon App Store 16Goodness Shapes This app was a favorite among toddlers and preschoolers, according to our parent testers. They said their kids wanted to play Goodness Shapes multiple times a day! It’s a great introduction to shapes, colors, sorting, and matching, but it’s best to play this app with your toddler so you can add to the learning (and the fun!). One parent wrote, “I liked how the games were fairly intuitive for my daughter, but still required her to think things through by having to determine whether to sort by shape or by color.” Ages: 0-4 Cost: $1 Get it for iOS 17Winky Think Logic Puzzles Winky Think Logic Puzzles has kids move shapes and match colors in order to solve logic puzzles, which nurtures the problem-solving skills related to the basics of math. The app has 180 games with three levels of difficulty, so kids can still learn once they master a level. “As you got further into the game it became more challenging,” one of our testers noted. “It helps my kids become critical thinkers and more analytical.” Ages: 3-8 Cost: $3 Get it for: iOS
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