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.
- GenZPlay has developed an app for kids that only functions if they're doing physical activity. What an interesting way to make sure technology-loving kids go outside and play once in awhile!Available for iPhone, Big Cat Race pits the iPhone holder against a lion, leopard, or cheetah and encourages them to race.
- In a study titled "The New Definition of Childhood," The Global Kids Study found that kids use technology in a variety of positive ways, helping make this generation's world a lot smaller than it is for their parents.
- YA (young adult, meant for teens) literature has enjoyed a surge of popularity lately and is becoming more widely read by both tweens and adults. In these two posts at Teen Librarian's Toolbox, bloggers Christie and Karen discuss what the covers of YA books might say, imply, or promote about body image and size.
- The great accessibility of the Internet has led to crowdsourcing new musical albums, book reviews, and health information. Just take a look at Kickstarter, Goodreads, or HealthTap if you want to see how people of all backgrounds provide others--even if they don't know them in person--with everything from support for a business upstart to answers to common health questions. Now teens are doing that too, with the public launch of Hallway, a crowd-sourced homework help website.
- Confused about why so many girls love seemingly vapid and meaningless pop songs? This insightful essay about Taylor Swift, the guitar-playing young popstar known for writing songs about breakups and heartbreak (and directly naming her exes) talks about why Swift's lyrics really are quite accurate and pertinent to teen life.
- Those interested in understanding how teens use various forms of technology might be curious about the approach, opinions, and expertise of those who work with adolescents outside of the medical sphere. Professional magazine VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) provides freely available archives online of their column Tag Team Tech, which discusses everything from cyberbullying to pleasure reading to visual literacy.
- With so many media messages about how girls should hate math or how computer programming is for boys, it's great to see this news about African American girls succeeding at and enjoying computer programming. The program Black Girls Code aims not only to educate and engage these girls but also to change their perspectives on what the stereotypical programmer looks and acts like, hoping to get a little more diversity into the field.
- GURL.com talks about why celebrity "bump watching" is silly, and they also take a jab at the idea that girls who don't watch their eating must be pregnant. Previously, though, they encouraged readers to speculate on whether actress and singer Selena Gomez, who was rushed to the hospital, was pregnant or just sick. What do you think tabloid media and reality shows that focus on pregnancy or pregnancy speculation do to the perceptions of the teens that read and watch them? P.S. If you want to see what else this site, frequented by teen girls and dedicated to everything from health tips to fashion, says, click on the links at the bottom of the article for "pregnant" and "pregnancy."
If you're looking for peer-reviewed articles and scholarly research, remember to check the CMCH database.