CMC session: “Second Screen”

Jul 4, 2014

One session that I attended today was “Second Screen: Changing the way we watch TV”. This session was devoted to different uses of the second screen, how kids are using it today and what we could do with second screens in the future. I had mixed feelings about this session for a number of different reasons. One concern I had was the current use of the second screen by children today. It somewhat concerned me when they showed us a video of this girl and how she uses two screens. She was skyping with her friend on her iPad while watching a Netflix show which wasn’t too bad. But then she opened up minecraft on her iPad so then she was doing three different tasks concurrently. Though some might call it multitasking, I do not. She couldn’t even think of the name of the TV show when her friend asked her while playing minecraft. It concerns me because it makes me think that more and more children are going to interact with screens in that same manner and then just constantly be distracted. Though I see it as an issue the folks in this session helped me see it as an opportunity as well. A major opportunity that second screens could bring is an educational one as described in the session. The two speakers described how they were getting kids to use their second screens to become more involved in shows such as “Gory Games”. In this show they would have kids download an app then when the show started they would open up the app and then answer the same questions that the contestants were being asked at the same time. It is a more positive use of the second screen and definitely could prove to be educational for kids but I still am concerned with the use of the second screen. I feel as though if a kid gets fed up after answering x amount of questions wrong then he will just go somewhere else with the second screen and not learn anything. Also, though this use of the second screen is meant to be educational I still think that kids will not retain the same amount of information while multitasking. In my opinion, an educational app on its own would prove to be more useful if it related to the show and was fun just being focused on one screen.