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Media multitasking—using more than one media activity at a time—has become prevalent in children’s lives. What is the impact of media multitasking on children’s learning, development and health?

To help advance understanding and research about media multitasking, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop just made available a seminar report, The Impacts of Media Multitasking on Children’s Learning & Development. This report describes the current state of knowledge on media multitasking highlighted by leading scholars and industry leaders as it relates to cognitive development and learning in children.

According to the report, some of the current research needs are:

  • need to define definitions and common vocabulary.
  • need to create a multidisciplinary academic field, which encompassed the fields of child development and learning (formal and informal).
  • need for development of new tools and research methodologies.
  • need to set research priorities.

Resources on Media Multitasking

In Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier, FRONTLINE presents an in-depth exploration of what it means to be human in a 21st-century digital world.

  • Ulla G. Foehr (2006). Media Multitasking among American Youth: Prevalence, Predictors, and Pairings. Kaiser Family Foundation.

This Kaiser Family Foundation Report presents the key findings explore how pervasive media multitasking is among young people, potential cognitive and social development implications, and which teens are most likely to multitask.

This is the website for the Media Multitasking Project, with information about the project's background.

Database of scientific research on children and media effects from the Center on Media and Child Health.

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