8 Choosing good quality digital content
As you have seen in previous sections, the content of media matters. Content that is violent or highly sexualised may result in increased aggression, fears and unhealthy behaviours. On the other hand, good quality educational content can foster children’s learning and development. Choosing good quality digital content for children is not easy or straightforward. Parents or teachers often rely on public ratings and reviews of, for example, apps they can download from online stores (such as Google Play or the Apple store). In other cases, they may rely on the popularity of an online video, for example, the number of views, number of likes or dislikes and the number of subscribers an online channel may have, such as a YouTube channel. These sources of information are a good starting point for thinking about the quality of media content and how it is perceived by other users. Yet, they are lacking a significant source of information: the content has not been tested or studied with children and thus there is no evidence about its actual impact on children’s learning and development. In this section, you will learn how to select media content considering the research evidence about the impact of digital technologies on children.
Watch the following two YouTube videos:
Now answer the following questions.
- What are the main learning benefits of watching the videos?
- What are the main disadvantages of watching the videos?
- Would you let your child watch the videos? Explain why and under which conditions.