It feels as though this blog has been dedicated more often than not in recent weeks to critiquing studies and finding them wanting, or to complaints about misuse or misinterpretation of research. Today, I want to toast a simple, clever, revealing ethnographic study that does precisely what good research should: It furthers knowledge while also sparking ideas for further study.
Tablets and linear TV have long shared a convoluted relationship. And in many cases, the former has been touted as being a strong exponent of the latter. With 30% of its content focused on kids, year-old Swedish cloud-based TV operator Magine’s latest data shines a light on kids` evolving viewing habits and reveals that children are more inclined to watch shows on tablets than their parents.
A remarkable thing happened last week in the world of children’s media. One of the strongest voices against “screen time” for children under two – an author of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement on babies and toddlers and media – changed his mind.
One of my favorite expressions is “when you hear hoof beats, don’t look for zebras.” Of course, in Zimbabwe the proverb might be different, but the concept is clear – look for simple explanations first, and then move on to the complex. This adage was on my mind this week as I read coverage of two new studies. One dealt with children, media use and obesity; the other with kids’ active play given different types of playground equipment.
There’s something about Scandinavia. The Northern European region has bred such blockbuster brands as Lego, Minecraft and Toca Boca, the latter of which currently has eight apps in the iTunes US top 40 paid iPhone category – which is as much as Disney and Nickelodeon combined. Toca Boca creative director Jens Peter de Pedro talks to iKids about organizing and infusing freedom into products, and why children’s digital platforms must learn to loosen up.
As this generation grows up never having to wait to watch their favorite shows, new research from Tennessee-based youth and family research firm Smarty Pants delves into the effect of Netflix, YouTube and Hulu on US children’s viewing habits – and where established kidnets have an opportunity to gain some more ground.