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A Call for Research on Media Multitasking

A group of academic and industry leaders came together last summer at Stanford University to discuss the effects of media multitasking, a subject that is on the minds of many educators because of research like the Kaiser Family Foundation report and the Frontline documentary that aired this week, which point to the increasing amount of time kids are spending with media.

A new paper from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center documents the findings and discussions of the one-day seminar.

After reading through the report, it's clear that there are many more questions than answers about the effects of media multitasking and what they mean for schools. The report repeatedly calls for more in-depth longitudinal studies about media multitasking for all age groups. And clearer definitions and terminology are needed for this research, the report says. In addition, it is critical for new tools and survey methods to be developed to keep track of the rapidly evolving phenomenon before researchers and educators can begin to help schools adapt to changing behaviors related to multitasking.

The background paper for the seminar is here, and even more resources are here.

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