Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Coviewing and JME @ The Joan Ganz Cooney Center

Monday night I joined my favorite New York organization, Women in Children’s Media, for a panel discussion on coviewing. What is coviewing? According to Valkenburg, coviewing “refers to occasions when adults and children watch television together, sharing the viewing experience, but not engaging in any discussion about the program. Coviewing is considered a form of mediation, because it has been shown to have positive effects on children.”

I was so pleasantly surprised to see a whole cluster of smart Nickelodeon ladies, past and present, in the room. It’s funny and affirming to know that so many of us started there, working on productions like Dora, The Backyardigans, and Bubble Guppies.

The event started with a presentation by Lori Takeuchi of The Cooney Center, who opened with this fabulous video clip to exemplify how Sesame Workshop uses humor to engage both parents and children watching together.

Takeuchi worked with our field’s finest and smartest to put together a report on coviewing and learning through joint media engagement (JME), “ spontaneous and designed experiences of people using media together.” I highly recommend you check the report out on their site. Here’s the link! I downloaded the iPad friendly version and have stored it in my iBooks library (along with copies of all New York City Blueprints in the Arts) to access and refer to in any place and at any time.

Panelists then shared their thoughts on coviewing and how it has supported, challenged, and impacted their work as researchers and producers. Panelists included: Heather Tilert, Erica Brach-Ridley, Mindy Brooks, and Shelley Pasnick, and was moderated by Sarah Walendjack.

Can you recall a coviewing experience that impacted you, either as a viewer or as a media professional?

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