Young children are impacted by the digital media in which they engage. Media representations of people and characters impact a child’s attitudes toward social categories such as race-ethnicity, differing abilities, gender expression, among many other social categories (Armstrong, 2021; Behm-Morawitz & Ortiz, 2013; Bond, 2016; Dill-Shackleford, et al., 2017; Rogers, Mastro, Robb, & Peebles, 2021; Scharrer, 2013; Signorielli, 2011).
Educators can facilitate high quality experiences with digital media and help support young children in developing healthy habits around digital media. Educators can serve as an integral role in children critically inquiring about the creation of media, evaluating real information and misinformation, and reconceptualizing media as tools useful for many different tasks. Such skills are necessary in a world filled with digital media, and such skills are required for children to adequately learn in environments which rely heavily on digital media.
Here are a few resources for teachers who want to learn more about young children and digital media use:
Join us on July 18th for our “Tech Camp: Teachers Only” summer sessions that explore technology in early childhood education. Learn how to become a media mentor for media literacy and the best ways to integrate technology into the classroom.
Suggested citation: Herdzina, J. & Lauricella, & A. R. (May 13, 2022). Digital media in early childhood resources for educators. Erikson Institute.
Anderson, D. R., & Pempek, T. A. (2005). Television and very young children. American behavioral scientist, 48(5), 505-522.Armstrong, A. L. (2021). The representation of social groups in U.S. educational materials and why it matters: A research overview. New America. http://www.newamerica.org/education-policy/reports/the-representation-of-social-groups-in-u-s-educational-materials-and-why-it-matter/Barr, R. (2010). Transfer of learning between 2D and 3D sources during infancy: informing theory and practice. Developmental Review, 30, 128e154.
Behm-Morawitz, E., & Ortiz, M. (2013). Race, ethnicity, and the media. In K. E. Dill (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of media psychology (pp. 252–266). Oxford University Press. http://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195398809.013.0014
Bond, B. J. (2016). Fairy godmothers > robots: The Influence of televised gender stereotypes and counter- stereotypes on girls’ perceptions of STEM. Bulletin of Science, Technology, and Society, 36(2), 91-97. http://doi.org/10.1177/0270467616655951
Dill-Shackleford, K. E., Ramasubramanian, S., Behm-Morawitz, E., Scharrer, E., Burgess, M. C. R., & Lemish, D. (2017). Social group stories in the media and child development. Pediatrics, 140(Supplement 2), S157 LP-S161. http://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2016-1758W
Fisch, S., Truglio, R. T., & Cole, C. F. (1999). The impact of Sesame Street on preschool children: A review and synthesis of 30 years’ research. Media Psychology, 1(2), 165-190. http://dx.doi.org/10.1207/s1532785xmep0102_5
Guernsey, L. (2019). A mission for media mentors. In C. Donohue (Ed.) Exploring Key Issues in Early Childhood and Technology: Evolving Perspectives and Innovative Approaches (pp. 97-102). Routledge.
Kirkorian, H. L., Anderson, D. R., & Keen, R. (2012). Age differences in online processing of video: An eye movement study. Child Development, 83, 497–507. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01719.x.
Lovato, S. B., & Waxman, S. R. (2016). Young children learning from touch screens: Taking a wider view. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, Article 1078. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01078
Rideout, V. (2017). The Common Sense census: Media use by kids age zero to eight. Common Sense Media.
Rideout, V., & Robb, M. B. (2020). The Common Sense census: Media use by kids age zero to eight, 2020. Common Sense Media.
Rogers, O., Mastro, D., Robb, M. B., & Peebles, A. (2021). The Inclusion Imperative: Why Media Representation Matters for Kids’ Ethnic-Racial Development. San Francisco, CA: Common Sense.
Scharrer E.L. (2013). Representations of gender in the media. In: Dill KE, ed. Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology. Oxford University Press, 267–284
Signorielli, N. (2011). Television’s gender-role images and contribution to stereotyping: Past, present, and future. In D. G. Singer & J. L. Singer (Eds.), Handbook of children and the media (2nd ed., pp. 321339). Sage.
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