MTV joins FCC in education confab


The Federal Communications Commission is holding an event Thursday 9/8/11 called “Back to School in a Digital World” that will take a look at educating children that are active members of internet social sites and avid texters on their cell phones. Among the participants will be a representative from MTV.

The event will be held at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus in Washington DC from 10AM to 11:15AM. Also on hand will be children’s media advocacy Common Sense Media, an organization that counts FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski among its founders.

The FCC noted, “Recent surveys show that nearly three quarters of online teens use social network sites and, on average, teenagers send one text message every ten minutes during waking hours.” The event is intended to address the challenges of educating this group. The panel will field questions from parents, educators and other interested parties. The event will be available for viewing online.

* Julius Genachowski, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
* Jason Rzepka, Vice President of Public Policy, MTV
* Alan Simpson, Vice President of Policy, Common Sense Media
* Nicole Turner-Lee, VP & Director, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
* Stephen Balkam, President, Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI)
* René Cadogan, Bilingual Counselor, Columbia Heights Educational Campus

RBR-TVBR observation: We have a text-happy teen in our house, and at a school open house just the other night, one teacher noted how good students have become at exchanging texts surreptitiously during class. It they slip up and get caught, they’ll be forced to try to get their phone back from the principal’s office.

In our day, we were limited to passing surreptitious notes scrawled on scraps of paper – which goes to show that the act of exchanging notes hasn’t changed; it’s just that the technology has improved. Of course, today’s students are in far less danger of having their message read aloud to the entire class. On the other hand, we were not risking our personal hardware – we may have lost the note, but the 19 cent Bic pen we wrote it with was never demanded by the rule-enforcing teacher.