Digital Media for Kids – creating content that travels

Interesting speech by Michael Levine at TED Atlanta recently on the impact of emerging digital media on kids learning.  He covered some interesting topics, most notably the fact that todays youth are going into multmedia multitasking overload and how we can harness that. Also the need to tap into transmedia storytelling and use these touchpoints in a more learning based environment.

He speaks about the current issue with kids learning in the States, despite the massive education spending ,they are currently 15th in the world in basic reading proficiency. He speaks about kids knowledge ‘being mile wide, but an inch deep’ and the 3 key trends which are impacting on digital learning for kids today:

1. MEDIA MULTITASKING – Clearly kids are taking in ridiculous amounts of media per week, 53hrs a week to be exact, however is it leading to attention deficit disorder as kids don’t know what to concentrate on. Michael believes that ‘Aligning content’ via games, mobile, books and TV via characters will enable a more immersive learning experience and build on the habits of kids to engage with characters.

2. CONVERGENCE LEARNING – the growth of transmedia narratives where stories come to life across multiple touchpoints needs to be translated to the educational system. It’s about creating educational content that travels – so they can access it anytime, anywhere through any touchpoint.

3. PEER LEARNING – social media enables amazing sharing of content and ideas, and this social behaviour needs to be harnessed for the education system. The ability for kids to learn with their parents and grandparents collaboratively via technology is the way of the future. His company has been developing an interesting book reader idea with Nokia Labs which looks to redefine the learn and play paradigm by giving kids the chance to teach their parents as well.

Some interesting thoughts here for marketers.

Overall, he spoke about the need to create more personal, deeper and participatory learning environments using digital media.

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