Here at CMCH, we're always finding news, websites, games, and other great stuff that promotes positive use of media, shows young people engaging with technology in creative ways, informs us of new studies underway, and highlights other items of interest to practitioners, researchers, parents, teachers, and advocates. Here are some of the things we're excited about lately.
- In an effort to speak to minority youth and find an innovative way to provide them with HIV facts and data, researchers at Yale are working on an iPad game called Playforward: Elm City Stories. The game will allow players to "live" the life of a young person who must navigate through the tricky world of sexuality and sexual health.
- You've probably heard of DoSomething.org, a social change organization that encourages teens to get involved with charity and social justice work. The founder of DoSomething recently began Crisis Text Line, which will provide teens with referrals and information on dating violence, depression, and other health issues via text message (who makes phone calls anymore?).
- Facebook is generally thought of as the site of much cyberbullying, but it looks like Facebook administrators are out to change that perception by partnering with the Australian government in a fight to combat it.
- Recess is considered an essential part of the school day for physical activity, mental rest, and the development of socialization skills. But are kids actually doing at recess? This study aims to discover the racial and gender differences that inform recess activities. And for those educators and parents who are worried about the state of recess in their school, it might be interesting to take a look at this innovative program that brings facilitators to low-income schools to encourage play of all kinds outside, or at this new high-tech playground that tries to get video game-oriented kids back outside.
- Schools in Washington, DC, are switching to a blended model that mixes traditional classroom learning with online learning, in the hopes that this will boost student engagement with learning and also provide both teachers and students with innovative new tools and 21st century tools that will help students be ready for college. We're interested to see how their first year goes!
- Parents who are worried about ever-younger children wanting to join social networking sites might be interested in BiblioNasium, a pilot social network revolving around books and reading, designed specifically for 6-12-year-olds and their parents, teachers, and mentors. Not only does the site encourage social sharing and friendships made through shared interest in reading, but it also offers recommendations and reviews complete with Lexile Framework for Reading guidelines so that teachers and parents can find appropriately leveled books for their kids.
- "Kids these days." It may seem that all they want to do is be left alone with their smartphones, but a new UK survey revealed that kids prefer simple summer activities like family bike rides and picnics to more elaborate outings like theme parks. What a relief to know that what's tried, true, and inexpensive is still pretty great!
If you're looking for peer-reviewed articles and scholarly research, remember to check the CMCH database.