2020 Volume 70 Issue 11 Pages 2-35
In 2020 Japan was hit by COVID–19. The pandemic significantly affected children and their parents, who were suddenly forced to stay at home due to the temporary closure of schools and pre–schools. What kind of media use and behavior did children and parents engaged in during the closure period, with what kinds of attitudes and values? How were digital learning materials, which was gradually spreading among schools and households, recognized, accepted, used, expected and evaluated under COVID–19? With these questions in mind, we conducted a survey combining a web method and a qualitative research method called Market Research Online Community (MROC) twice during and after the closure to swiftly examine the two themes, “change in media use under COVID–19” and “needs for digital learning materials during school/pre–school closure.” The result of the first survey conducted during school/pre–school closure shows that both children and parents suffered multiple and diverse types of stress. The survey also finds an increase in the media use of stressed children. Looking at these findings, we focused on their attitude of “needs for meaningfulness” and reconfirmed the meaning of media that can be viewed on–demand freely as a future direction of media use. The survey does not show a dramatic increase in the use of digital learning materials under COVID-19, but it suggests what aspects of these materials interest users or attract their attention and what aspects they feel uneasy about. Also found are the difference in attitudes between parents and children as well as between generations. It is revealed “together with everyone” is an important factor for learning, along with “fun” and “easy–to–understand.” The paper reports the media use and behavior of children and parents under COVID–19.