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Keep informed with news, articles and stories about all things related to children, young people and families.


More of a tweet than a blog

In final throws of submitting my PhD. Three years in the making it will be like handing over a child, hoping that its custodians will understand and appreciate it as much as I do! This month we are dealing with sensitive issues, talking to teenagers about sexual health, and to children and young people with behavioural difficulties. We are also mid-way through a very large study on play, also a sensitive issue it seems as…
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Running before you can walk (or using the App Store before you can read)

No postings last month as I’ve been completing the final section of my PhD thesis. Now, happily, I’m editing so life is a bit back to normal, and I’m hoping to submit next month. I also managed to go to Italy; the thesis came with me and I was able to do a bit of editing, but somehow sun, food, wine and Italy do not fit in with thesis editing … With me for part…
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Asking teenagers to write about their media consumption

There has been much written about Matthew Robson (aged 15 years and 7 months) this week. Matthew has produced a report about teenagers’ media habits, and apparently it has created enormous interest from international fund managers and analysts. His supervisors have described the report as ‘one of the clearest and most thought-provoking insights we have seen’. The 15 year old was lucky enough (and brave enough) to accept an internship at Morgan Stanley where the…
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Are social networking sites harmful to children?

It is perhaps difficult to believe that the term ‘social networking site’ (SNS) was not widely recognised back in 2004 when teenagers in the US first discovered MySpace (see boyd & Ellison, 2007). With the ‘open’ nature of social networking using digital technology, concern about children’s safety remains paramount to commentators and child experts. While there are many positive aspects of children using social networking sites, dangers undoubtedly exist – not just infiltration by online…
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Observing Children at Home and Positive Psychology in School

Children and young people behave very differently at home than the way they do at school. The recent half term holidays meant we were all very busy; between us we visited over 25 homes and grandparents’ homes, looked into fridges, were shown contents of wardrobes, took photos of favourite digital equipment, attended cricket matches and swimming lessons, and Amanda even went to a birthday party. We were all completely exhausted by the end of the…
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More on the link between academia and market research

I suppose I sit on the fence here. Having been a youth researcher for many years I’ve also been doing my own ethnographic research for the last 2 years with a group of early adolescents for my doctorate which I’m in the process of writing up. I think the present encompasses a particular time for research. There’s a recession, but clients are still looking for insight and knowledge, and in increasingly sophisticated ways. And we…
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Co-creation with children

If you want to design a new product for children, ask a 9 year old. This week and last we’ve been spending time in schools and in homes, asking children to help us with some designs. As always the 7-10 year olds we’ve been talking to have come up with innovative and unique ideas that none of us adults could have imagined. This co-creation gives immense input into such a project, and also allows children…
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Getting Real

In contrast to the Tanya Byron debate described in the last posting, an earlier session at the BBC Children’s Festival had interviewed father and son Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain, creators of E4’s hit comedy drama series Skins, and winners of the 2009 Bafta TV Audience Award. Interesting to note that Skins was the only show on a digital channel to win a TV BAFTA, and beat among others in the category The X Factor,…
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The BBC Children’s Festival and the Commercialisation of Childhood

I spent a day at the BBC Children’s Festival last week. A great showcase for all they do and a reminder of how well the BBC understands children and young people, and just how innovative they are. There was a debate between Agnes Nairn (co-author of ‘Consumer Kids: how big business is grooming our kids for profit’ with Ed Mayo of Consumer Focus) and Robin Hilton of Dubit, Rae Burdon COO of the Advertising Association,…
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