Smarter People Through Interactive Digital Entertainment Resources

Smarter People through Interactive Digital Entertainment Resources

From ICT to ICRT

Jose Antonio Gabelas @jgabelas
Carmen Marta @cmartalazo
Daniel Aranda @darandaj

There is a significant gap between school and society, digital and cultural practices of children and youth and media literacy education.

Numerous studies and research verified that children and youth have certain technological and social skills associated with social network sites (
SNSs), software or video games that they have not learned in the classroom, but in their digital leisure with friends and peers. Today’s youth are the first generation to have grown up in a environment characterized by the widespread use of the Internet, especially in the form of instant messaging services (such as Messenger) and SNSs, which are part of their everyday life and constitute essential tools to communicate, share, participate and create, (Sánchez-Navarro, Aranda, 2012)
Other authors argue that sharing through online social networking spaces generates bonds of trust that facilitate the exchange. Social networking (online and offline), usually provide safe spaces to share our experiences and often generate empathy or interpersonal intelligence.
Through the use of these technologies, young people generate support, sociability and recognition spaces which are also collaborative learning spaces, undoubtedly informal and supported by their close social circle, wherein there is ample opportunity to develop very diverse abilities at a social, cultural, professional or technical level.

This is how young people acquire an important network capital. To share their experiences, worries and opinions through alternative leisure and participation spaces constitutes an important vector of learning, no matter how the people concerned do not perceive it as such. In any case, this perception probably stems from the informal nature of this learning, which is openly collaborative (horizontal and egalitarian, as opposed to a traditional flow of transmission of vertical information, from expert adults to profane minors), and is mainly supported by social relationships beyond their family, that is to say, not focused in the practical function of the use of digital technologies (Sánchez-Navarro, Aranda, 2012).

Therefore, this digital cultural and social practices experienced by children and youth in technological environments are not embedded in what we used to call ICT. This new landscape of use has to be described as ICRT (information + communication + relationship technologies), which contains a core concept, relationship, which propose to expand the meaning of media education or media literacy. The concept of ICRT goes beyond the simple technological determinism. The term extends the implications, effects and meanings of being in touch with digital media. And these social and cultural implications, effects and meanings have to be an important component of media education studies and practices.

Some research
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Aranda D, Sánchez-Navarro J and Tabernero C (2009) Jóvenes y ocio digital: Informe sobre el uso de herramientas digitales por parte de adolescentes en España. Barcelona: Editorial UOC.

ARANDA, D.; SÁNCHEZ, J. (2011). “How digital gaming enhances nonformal and informal learning”. A: FELICIA, P.. Handbook of Research on Improving Learning and Motivation Through Educational Games: Multidisciplinary Approaches.  Information Science Publishing .  Pág.  395 -412.

Aranda,D; Sánchez; Gabelas, J.A; Sánchez, J: Una discusión sobre ocio digital y aprendizaje: algunos mitos y una paradoja sobre las redes sociales y los videojuegos en Congreso Educación Mediática y Competencia Digital. Segovia. España. Octubre 2011.

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Jenkins H (1992) Textual Poachers: Television and Participatory Culture. London: Routledge.

Jenkins H, Purushotma R, Clinton K et al. (2008) Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. Chicago, IL: The MacArthur Foundation. Available at:

MARTA LAZO, Carmen (2008): “El proceso de recepción televisiva como interacción de contextos”. En Comunicar, 31 (16), pp. 35-40.  

MARTA LAZO, Carmen (2008): “La educación en materia de comunicación, una asignatura pendiente”. En Ambitos, 17, pp. 225-236.

MARTA LAZO, Carmen y GABELAS BARROSO, J. A. (2007): “La educación para el consumo de pantallas, como praxis holística”. En Revista Latina de Comunicación Social, 62

MARTA LAZO, Carmen y GRANDÍO, Mar (2011): Competencias de la educación mediática en la Universidad: de la erudición a la eficacia. Segovia: Universidad de Valladolid

MARTA LAZO, Carmen y MARTINEZ RODRIGO, Estrella (coord.)  (2011): Jóvenes interactivos. Nuevos modos de comunicarse. La Coruña: Netbiblo.

Sánchez, J., Aranda, D. (2012). "Research Note: Messenger and social networks sites as tools for sociability, leisure and informal learning for the Spanish young". European Journal of Communication.

Valenzuela S, Park N and Kee KF (2009) Is there social capital in a social network site? Facebook use and college students’ life satisfaction, trust, and participation. Journal of Computer- Mediated Communication 14(4): 875–901.

Valkenburg PM and Peter J (2011) Adolescents’ online communication: An integrated model of its attraction, opportunities, and risks. Journal of Adolescent Health 48: 121–127.