I'm the kind of person who looks for the good in everything, however I'm also aware of the negatives. When I was growing up, by the time I was 11 or 12 I became aware that TV was kind of addictive, so I tried to cut back on mindlessly watching shows. Much later in life I became aware of how deeply TV had influenced my views about lifestyle, in both negative and positive ways.
Kid's growing up today live in a media world, there is almost no escaping it. For that reason I became an advocate of media literacy. Basically, from an early age, we need to help our kid's understand how media influences their thinking.
Recently I ran across this great site for girls called My Pop Studio. It's free to use and is a great rainy day activity for pre-teen girls. Check it out for yourself: http://www.mypopstudio.com/index2.php
Here's some basic info I copied directly from the site:
What is My Pop Studio? (from this page: http://www.mypopstudio.com/about_site.php)
"My Pop Studio is a creative play experience that strengthens critical thinking skills about television, music, magazines and online media directed at girls. Users select from four behind-the-scenes opportunities to learn more about mass media:
In the Magazine Studio, users compose a magazine layout featuring themselves as celebrities. They write an advice column, explore the power of digital retouching, and reflect on the role of body image in today's culture.
In the TV Studio, users edit a TV show where the story keeps changing but the images remain the same. They examine their TV viewing choices, comment on teen celebrities, and compare their daily screen time with others.
In the Music Studio, users create a pop star and compose her image and song. They explore the power of music in selling a product and search for truth in media gossip. The comment on the values messages in popular music
In the Digital Studio, users test their multi-tasking abilities. They share their experiences with the challenges of digital life online. They consider the "what if's" of social networking sites and reflect on the power of media and technology in their social relationships.
My Pop Studio strengthens media literacy skills, promotes positive youth development, and increases knowledge about health issues. Highly interactive creative play activities are used to create an online community that guides users through the process of deconstructing, analyzing and creating media. Video segments, flash animation, media deconstruction games and quizzes, and moderated blogs make the website lively, fun and educational.
Who Created this Site?
My Pop Studio was created by a team of researchers and media professionals at the Media Education Lab, located at Temple University's School of Communication and Theater in the Department of Broadcast Telecommunication and Mass Media. Sherri Hope Culver and Renee Hobbs led the production team. Our mission is to expand and improve the practice of media literacy and to conduct research examining the relationship between media, technology, community and education in the lives of children and youth. For more information about us, please visit: www.mediaeducationlab.com."