As screen time increases among children, YouTube series talks safe tech use and fun with smartphones
BOSTON (September 9, 2020) – As the internet becomes increasingly central to children’s education and play, public media producer GBH has released Search It Up!, a lighthearted digital miniseries that teaches healthy screen time skills from everyday kids’ perspectives. Nine short videos starring a cast of young internet users show viewers the different ways they can use smartphones - from catching up with grandparents to separating fact from fiction on the web.
With the school year around the corner, searching online for classroom assignments and staying in touch with friends and family will be more important than ever. In each Search It Up! episode, kids demystify the internet, discussing in plain language how the internet works, GPS, video chat, safety tips for smartphones, taking selfies, web ads and more. Each episode runs no more than four minutes.
“As COVID-19 has dramatically shifted education online, kids and parents must embrace technology to learn and communicate,” said Terry Fitzpatrick, GBH Vice President for Children’s Media. “With kids leading the conversation on Search It Up!, our hope is that families at home will connect with the message that the Internet, with parental guidance, can be an enriching and valuable tool for learning.”
Search It Up! episodes cover a range of technology topics. In episode one, It’s the Internet, kids talk about how the internet works. Episode two, Getting Around, focuses on maps and GPS while the third episode, Staying in Touch, focuses on video chat. Future episodes focus on smartphones, cameras and selfies, internet ads and creating videos. The final episode looks into technologies of the future.
“GBH has a strong legacy as a creator of educational content for our youngest citizens. Following the positive response to GBH shows like Ruff Ruffman: Humble Media Genius and Molly of Denali, we’ve seen the appetite for programs that address media literacy for kids continue to grow,” said GBH Senior Executive Producer Bill Shribman. “With devices like smartphones becoming more prevalent in children’s lives, we saw an opportunity in Search It Up! to have kids share their enthusiasm and authentic tips for using devices to engage with the world in a positive way.”
Search It Up! Is available for free through the PBS KIDS Video app and other PBS KIDS video platforms including Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast and PBSKids.org. Search It Up! was produced with support by Internet Essentials from Comcast.
GBH is the leading multiplatform creator for public media in America. As the largest producer of content for PBS and partner to NPR and PRX, GBH delivers compelling experiences, stories and information to audiences wherever they are. GBH produces digital and broadcast programming that engages, illuminates and inspires, through drama and science, history, arts, culture and journalism. It is the creator of such signature programs as MASTERPIECE, ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, FRONTLINE, NOVA, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, Arthur and Molly of Denali, as well as WORLD Channel and a catalog of streaming series, podcasts and on-demand video. With studios and a newsroom headquartered in Boston, GBH reaches across New England with GBH 89.7, Boston’s Local NPR®; CRB Classical 99.5; and CAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® station. Dedicated to making media accessible to and inclusive of our diverse culture, GBH is a pioneer in delivering media to those who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired. GBH creates curriculum-based digital content for educators nationwide with PBS LearningMedia and has been recognized with hundreds of the nation’s premier broadcast, digital and journalism awards. Find more information at wgbh.org.