(Danielle Vallely) The Children’s Media Conference held in Sheffield, UK was an incredible experience that re-examined the world of media for children. Nowadays, children are more equipped then ever with electronic devices. They utilize iPads and cellular phones as not only a tool, but also as a primary form of entertainment. They can instantaneously and simultaneously connect with people from all over the world using multiple social media networks. This conference viewed the mechanics and logistics behind children’s media to formulate strong predictions of where technology is heading in the future.
This conference included speakers from all over the world. The speakers all worked and conducted research for major corporations that provide content for children. Each discussion focused on a particular topic pertaining to children’s media. For example, Professor Sophie Scott, University College London, educated her audience on the science of laughter. She explained that when we laugh it is acknowledging someone that we agree with him or her. It is a universal emotion that creates an unthreatening environment. This conversation correlated with a later discussion pertaining to laughter in the classroom. Simon Kerrigan, Netherthorpe School, explained that a simple riddle or joke provides a form of decision making for children. Children gradually grow out of their comfort zone when they laugh and it begins to build a level of trust with their teacher.
The design of this conference was very well done, in the sense that every conference session correlated with one another. The laughter topic brought up a discussion on teachers incorporating comedic lessons, which later tied into a discussion on computer games being played in the classroom. The conference allowed the audience to take information from previous discussions and combine them with later topics. This allowed everyone to take away a new analysis and overall understanding of where children’s media is heading.
The panelists never held back their point of view, which provoked strong questions from the audience. It was really helpful that each topic allotted time for the audience to participate in the discussion. This allowed the panelists to takeaway new ideas and also provided audience members with better clarity on certain issues. This conference provided a wealth of knowledge and new information within the world of children’s media. The design of the conference provided members to meet with panelists and other professionals throughout the world within children’s media. Everyone who attended was able to leave with a stronger understanding of the business, educational and home setting concerns that go on within children’s media.