The effects of using entertainment media

    09 January, 2013

    This is the Education Report in Special English.

    Common Sense Media is a non-profit group in the United States that studies children's use of media and technology. The group has done a survey asking teachers about the effects of their students' use of entertainment media.

    Entertainment media was defined as the TV shows, music, video games, texting, social networks, apps and other technology that students use for fun. Many teachers said they believe media use has hurt academic performance which in some cases was already not very strong.

    Vicky Rideout wrote the report for Common Sense Media.

    "We have merely four at tenth in students feel a poor at reading, at verbal communication, at math, and at science, and more than that thing the students wrongly fear report writing. So we need to make sure that everything kids are doing is helping to accelerate progress and not impeding it."

    The survey involved 685 teachers around the country in kindergarten through twelfth grade. They included both new and experience teachers and teachers in high and low income areas. 71% of the teachers said they believe students' use of entertainment media has reduced their ability to pay attention in class. And almost 60% said it has hurt their writing skills.

    Many teachers said they believe their students' media use has also hurt their social development. The report says the biggest problem that teachers identified in the survey was the impact on students' sexualization.

    Many teachers think media use has negatively affected students' ideas about relationships between boys and girls, as well as their attitudes toward parents and teachers.

    Many also believe media use encourages aggression and anti-social behavior. Teachers who describe themselves as uncomfortable with new technologies will more likely than other teachers to see harmful effects of media use on social development.

    But not all effects of media use were seen as bad. Almost two thirds of teachers said it is helped the students' ability to find information quickly and efficiently. And one third said using entertainment media has helped their students to multitask effectively. Only 25% said it has hurt them.

    Teachers who consider themselves "tech savvy" were more likely than others to see a benefit to students' creativity from the use of entertainment media. Vicky Rideout says teachers accept that the way students spend their time and how they like to learn has changed.

    "It's not to say that we are against the new media, that we shouldn't pursue it vigorously and embrace it. But that we should do it consciously and mindfully, so that we are, we are ,we might begin it up, what we might be sacrificing certain things in exchange for the benefits that the new media are bringing us."