Media Literacy

safer internet day

The online media complaints portal –ParentPort– has launched a one-stop shop for parents to help them keep children safe when online, watching films and playing video games.

Despite a large volume of useful tips and online safety advice already being available online, this information is often fragmented and difficult to find.

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There's been a significant increase in the amount of time children spend online, according to Ofcom's latest report on children's media habits. 

This does not surprise me but there seems to be a growing concern that all this new technology is “dumbing down” our children. Very rarely do we get to read about the great opportunity studies like this provides our next-generation on what is possible.

GCSE study

The results speak for themselves

Ofcom’s Communications Market Report for Scotland once again underlines that some significant differences exist across the UK. Scots are somewhat less likely to cut back on their communications spend than the UK average – by 47 to 52%.

And, in line with a long-observed trend in Scotland, there is a good half hour’s added TV viewing each week: 4.5 compared to the UK average of 4 hours. TV is by far the most favoured medium in Scotland whereas by contrast, Scots listen least to radio with a distinct preference for commercial stations over those of the BBC.

Not everyone can or is prepared to pay to be online
Scotland flag


Broadband take-up in Scotland has risen faster than any other UK nation over the last year, jumping 7 percentage points over 2011.

Sixty-eight per cent of homes in Scotland now have broadband, up from 61% a year earlier.

The figures are contained in Ofcom's 2012 Communications Market Report for Scotland.

Giant's Causeway


Northern Ireland has the highest availability of superfast broadband in the UK. These services are available to around 94% of premises compared to 60% for the UK as a whole.

The startling figures are contained in Ofcom's 2012 Communications Market Report for Northern Ireland.

The report also reveals that consumers in Northern Ireland are also becoming increasingly technology savvy.

Brits love to txt


Text-based communications are surpassing traditional phone calls or meeting face to face as the most frequent ways of keeping in touch for UK adults.

The findings were revealed when adults were asked what methods they used at least once a day to communicate with friends and family.

The average UK consumer now sends 50 texts per week – which has more than doubled in four years – with over 150 billion text messages sent in 2011.

txt messaging

It is common to discuss the phenomenal popularity of texting.

Who could have predicted the diffusion of this facility, as it does not seem designed for popular use as a communication medium? How could such a clumsy human interface be so usable?

Now we see an even more surprising use of technology as people move away from using their mobile phones as telephones – for voice calls.

It's good to talk but we prefer texting!


Internet users will be encouraged to download music and films through legal channels under measures outlined today by Ofcom.

Ofcom has published a draft code for consultation that would require large internet service providers (ISPs) to inform customers of allegations that their internet connection has been used to infringe copyright.

Social media surgery

I heard a wonderful presentation by a masters student, Amy Mcleod, about a Social Media Surgery in Birmingham, which was one of, if not the first, in Britain.

Got an idea? There are people who can help.
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Alison Preston from the consumer research team presented findings from Ofcom’s Media Literacy Audit at a workshop on 24 April, where she compared findings with results of the Oxford Internet Surveys. Ofcom’s work highlighted continuing growth in use of the Internet. While its diffusion is still incremental, the use by those who have the Internet is expanding.

Social networking drives growing internet usage
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