About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3913-3920
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.1042

Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain


M.P. Baptista-Lucio, M.T. Nicolás-Gavilán

Universidad Panamericana (MEXICO)
Why is it important to study children’s media environment? Because it represents a challenge to formal education, and most teachers seem to ignore the extent of their students´ immersion in media technologies. Innovative educators might use mobile technology in K-12 or social media for academic tasks, but in spite of these advances, promises about optimizing learning and thinking skills, seem somewhat distant, simply because technological innovations do not imply didactic innovations, nor encourage curiosity, decision-making, connections, and meaning. One piece missing is definitely the link between schools’ planned and formal education and children’s informal learning from their media environment where technology is an integral part of their lives.

The media environment is defined here, as the complex system of communication messages that surrounds people and that are transmitted through traditional media such as closed television and radio, and new media formats that can be accessed through the Internet via television, computer, tablet or mobile phones. Certainly, today’s media environment is huge, diverse, fragmented and with all kinds of players competing for users attention, offering content with global availability at any time and everywhere. How do children relate to it?

The answer to this research question was mainly guided by the Uses and Gratifications tradition (Katz, Blumer and Gurevitch, 1976) that conceives the child as a psychologically active person who seeks certain content, to cover some need. Scholars have noted that the Uses and Gratifications approach is a good framework to examine current communication behaviors in terms of a) Uses (what media, what channels, what content and in what extent) and motives (gratifications sought) to satisfy what needs.

Results reported in this article pertain to the first stage of a bigger research project that began in 2016. For the present report a qualitative approach was used as a research strategy to ask non-obtrusively to a sample of 220 girls and boys from 3rd through 7th grade, registered at private and public schools located in three socioeconomic areas (A/B, C and D), to write an essay about the media they use and what they like or dislike about it. The written narratives were content analyzed and make up the core results of this study where a brief summary of findings is provided below.

Media technologies are central children’s lives, they write about them with great enthusiasm and are knowledgeable about all sorts of content, some of it, not suitable for all ages. They like to be entertained, connected and report to learn from cartoons, drama, comedy series, sports, telenovelas, movies, reality shows, etc. Children in this sample, across all ages and socio-economic status, have access to television, computers, tablets, and mobiles, spending at least 4 hours daily using them. They are media multitaskers, juggling with TV or streaming content, texts, and blogs while doing homework or eat their meals. They draw a clear line between Internet uses for homework (serious stuff to complete information) from all the other fun content they seek different motives. The most surprising finding emerged through children’s narratives: Their teachers are banishing or limiting the use of ICT in the classroom, perhaps in an attempt to balance the avalanche of messages in children’s media environment. Implications of this disassociation are further discussed in the article.
author = {Baptista-Lucio, M.P. and Nicol{\'{a}}s-Gavil{\'{a}}n, M.T.},
series = {10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-6957-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2017.1042},
url = {https://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.1042},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {3913-3920}}
AU - M.P. Baptista-Lucio AU - M.T. Nicolás-Gavilán
SN - 978-84-697-6957-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2017.1042
PY - 2017
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2017
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2017 Proceedings
SP - 3913
EP - 3920
ER -
M.P. Baptista-Lucio, M.T. Nicolás-Gavilán (2017) CHILDREN'S MEDIA ENVIRONMENT: A STUDY IN MEXICO CITY, ICERI2017 Proceedings, pp. 3913-3920.