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In order to learn more about current media use in real life, you will be asked to investigate a
child’s media use and practices. Your assignment is not simply a transcription of your
interview, but an essay that describes what you learned in the process.
The goal of the interview is to listen with an open mind, observe and try to understand from a
developmental perspective how the person you are interviewing interacts with media. I
greatly prefer a child under the age of 18, but if you have no access to a child that young,
then you may interview a child up to the age of 20. With COVID, I understand that it may be
harder to connect with a child; if you are at home with a younger sibling or relative, you are
welcome to interview them. You can also do the interview over video conferencing (such as
Facetime, Zoom, Skype, etc.)
Before you do the interview, you should have a list of questions you want to ask. Some
questions at the beginning could seeking factual information, but the more interesting
questions are usually more open-ended. (For example, asking “Why…?” is always going to
yield some interesting findings.) You should make up your own list of questions, but here are
some to consider:
• How many sources of media are in your home? (For example, computers, TVs,
tablets, video game consoles, voice assistants, etc.)
• What do you use media for?
• What is your favorite/least favorite thing about media/ technology? Why?
• About how many hours/ day do you spend on media?
• How do you and your family interact with media/technology? Why?
• How do you and your peers interact with media/technology? Why?
• How are you using media during the COVID-19 pandemic?
• What is one thing you want the people who create the media you like to watch/ play/
interact with to know?
After you do the interview, you will be asked to write it up into a 3 page interview essay in
narrative format, double spaced with one inch margins. Longer than 4 pages will not be
accepted. A strong paper will link what you learn to developmental tasks – such as language
learning, identity development, etc. All of this information is located in the attached textbook, “plugged in”, so you do not need to include a reference page.
If you are interviewing a young child (ages 2-5), you might want to consider interviewing
the parent or guardian in addition to the child, as the responses from younger users
tend to be unreliable or difficult to understand.
Please include your initial list of questions that you prepared for the interview at the end
of the paper. (Note: This does not count as part of your paper length total.) Please note
that you can add more questions as you have the interview; you simply need to come to
the interview with some preparation.
You will submit this paper through Blackboard, in PDF format please. Numbered pages
Resources for the assignment:
• Here is a document (http://pages.ucsd.edu/~dkjordan/resources/InterviewingTips.html)
that may be helpful for these kinds of ethnographic interviews; it is geared towards
interviews with adults but offers many good guidelines and tips. When you interview
kids, you will have different aspects to consider depending on the age.
• How to write an interview essay. (http://www.brighthubeducation.com/help-withwriting/97515-how-to-write-an-interview-essay/)
**THE ESSAY NEEDS TO BE 3 PAGES LONG. PLEASE ATTACH THE QUESTIONS AT THE END OF THE 3 PAGES. **
Discipline: child studies
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