Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Second Screen Culture

Take a look at this photo.
Image flickr by ScottKMacklin
What you see is the photographer's son and his friends watching the Super Bowl. "Not only were they communicating with their friends, but they were snapping photos and even recording video of their own play-by-play announcing of the game, consuming and creating content at the same time" reads the explanation on Cory Bergamn's blog the 

Cory calls them the second screen generation. I would argue with the attempt to assign the phenomena to just one generation. It is more of the Second Screen culture or perhaps, in risking exaggeration, the Second Screen epoch. 

What is a second screen? According to my BFF Wikipedia it is term that refers to an additional electronic device (e.g. tablet, smartphone) that allows a television audience to interact with the content they are consuming.

To give you an example, watching the last two  State of the Union Addresses did not have to be just a passive one dimensional act of staring at the TV screen or listening to the radio. The White House website offered the second screen broadcasts enhanced with charts, graphs, reinforcing statistics and reinforcing quotes.  Public could and did participate in live conversation with the White House officials via social media. 

My personal indulgence is to "participate" in the Hollywood red carpet events by commenting on super stars via Twitter and Facebook, exploring the Oscars App on my iPad  and comparing my notes with my beloved Joan Rivers and the Fashion Police crew. 

Using second screen is not a fad. It is here to stay. According to Nielsen statistics form 2011, 70 percent of tablet owners and 68 percent of smartphone owners said they use their devices mostly while watching television. The question is, how we the teachers,  parents, community members could use the Second Screen phenomena to our advantage?  How to turn second screens in to your teaching and students' learning enhancement  in your classroom?

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