Last week, our team finished the market research report and handed it in.
Danielle interviewed parents of children in order to find out how their children are (or aren’t) exposed to news and media. In addition to the interviews she conducted, she also created a Google forms survey for group members to share on social media in order to reach additional parents. I interviewed teachers, who shared details of how they incorporate media literacy into their curriculum and shared that most of their students have a low level of interest in the news. Nojoud and Danielle also interviewed several children.
While Danielle and I were able to find a fair amount of parent and teacher sources, experts within fields of media, tech, and education were difficult to find. Coby was able to get input from a Scholastic Books editor and Nojoud was able a lecturer and researcher at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.
We originally planned on doing a series of leveled content for ages 6-12, but the wide range of ages and abilities because difficult to manage. We decide to narrow down targeting children between 10 and 13. While was disappointing to abandon the leveled model, targeting this age group will be effective because that is the age most teachers incorporate news literacy into school curriculum.
Throughout our research and interviews, our hope that children would be interested in news on their own diminished. After speaking with teachers, it became clear that most children were not interested in the news outside large events like coronavirus and Kobe Bryant’s death. While our group did toy with the idea of focusing on ages ranges starting as young as 6 in order to catch the kids before they become apathetic, we decided that ages 10-13 is a better market.
All in all, we believe that we found out a good deal about the low level of media literacy children currently have, what teachers would need to see from the app/website in order to use it, and researched the market in order to find competitors to provide us examples of what works and what doesn’t. By taking a page out of the book of apps/sites children actually use (such as TikTok) and combining it with the effective traits of other successful children’s news aggregators (such as CBC News Kids), we will create an app/website that stimulates children intellectually without being inaccessible or boring.