Media practices and children health: today's challenges of diagnostics
The article presents the main challenges in the diagnostics (development of diagnostic materials) of media practices of school-age children in a pandemic. T
he main research method is the theoretical analysis of domestic and foreign publications.
According to the results of the analysis, two groups of modern diagnostic challenges are identified: organizational and substantial.
Organizational challenges include the need for markers and warnings, formulation of questions according to the specifics of the target audience, the importance of respect for time and effort of respondents, facilitation of the questionnaire to ease its perception, compensation for emotional fatigue by creating a sense of individual contribution, control of inductive influence of questions, reviewing of standardized methods (or particular scales) and sampling.
Substantial challenges include the development of diagnostic tools to take into account the characteristics of media practices of children in general (frequency, duration, character, channels of communication, and media risks); changes that have occurred in the context of the forced transition to the format of distance education; analysis of the relationship of screen practices with somatic indicators, sleep patterns, psycho-emotional state of the child and the quality of social communication, which is especially important in a pandemic.
An approach to diagnosing media practices that focuses on the health of the child and the balance of media practices is proposed.
It should take into account the distribution of time during the day by external (compensation of screen practices with others which are not screen-related) and internal parameters (consideration in the screen time budget, along with studying, needs for online communication, and other recreational practices), according to age.
It is concluded that taking into account all the outlined diagnostic challenges creates an opportunity to respond in a forehanded manner to the needs that arise today.
The results of such diagnostics make it possible to obtain more differentiated results. This approach creates the basis for the development of targeted recommendations and programs for educators, parents, and the education system in general.
There are proposed such topics for further discussion: the impact of screen practices on the health of adolescents; proportionality of educational and recreational activities with increasing duration of screen time in quarantine and distance education; the need to differentiate research categories of media practices; ways to consider digital inequality of students in research.