Children, Youth and Media in the Era of Smart Devices: Risks, Threats and Opportunities

Editors: Dr Antonio García-Jiménez (Rey Juan Carlos University), Dr Cristina Ponte (Nova University of Lisboa) and Dr Félix Ortega-Mohedano (University of Salamanca).

Main focus

Children and adolescents are increasingly turning to mobile media devices and smart displays, the smartphone in particular –at home, at school or on the move– to stay connected with family and friends, for schooling activities and to access a variety of digital media contents and services, including social media, music, videos, and games. The everytime-and-everywhere-access to mobile media has changed children’s and adolescents’ everyday life with potential implications on their socialisation, consumer patterns, schooling orientated behaviour, teaching, and learning, among others. This monograph wants to address these issues both from a theoretical and methodological perspective.

We welcome original articles and research results with strong theoretical and methodological approach on the following issues:

  • Role of mobile media in children and adolescents at school, and in everyday life.
  • Methodological challenges of research on mobile media and smart-screens
  • Teacher and parental mediation and monitoring of mobile media use.
  • Impact of mobile media on children’s and adolescents’ social development and consumer behaviour.
  • Mobile media and children’s and adolescents’ risks, threats and opportunities.
  • Mobile media contents and activities, cultural and educational consumption: games, video, music consumption, education, democracy, social interaction, marketing-publicity…, new phenomena or old habits in new screens.
  • Uses and consumption of mobile media at “school” at “home” or “on the move”, filling the gap between children use of smartphones and tablets at school, is there one?
  • Regulation and protection of children in mobile media devices, apps, social networks, and gaming activities, marketing and others.
  • Children’s approaches to opportunities, risks, safety, literacy, entertainment in smart screens and other devices.

This monograph aims to contribute to the analysis and discussion of the theoretical and practical aspects related to children-adolescent audiovisual consumption and its impact on education, teaching, media and socialisation in smart-screens and other devices.


  • Parental and teacher competence in the implementation of smart screens.
  • Digital media literacy in education.
  • Education, children, youth and mass media.
  • Media regulation and child protection-ethics.
  • Cybersecurity and child protection in smart screens.
  • Research and collaboration networks on Children Youth and Media.
  • Teaching innovation in smart screens.
  • Risks, threats, weaknesses and opportunities for children and adolescents in the Internet and media.
  • Research results and country-regional cases on the indicated themes within this monograph.


Questions and reflections raised in this monograph in relation to the thematic lines are among others:

  • What do researchers and teachers understand by smart-screens and their point of view about the use of smartphones and tablets in their educative and communicative practice?
  • How are the risks, threats and opportunities of the Internet and smart-screens currently being evaluated with the different models and theoretical approaches? What problems does this diversity of approaches pose?
  • What models and how do they evaluate the digital competency of children and adolescents? Evaluating the usefulness in the current communicative and educational context? 
  • What indicators, scales and methodologies can we use to measure the digital competence of students, teachers and parents, as well as risks and opportunities? What tools and methodologies are necessary for this purpose?
  • What aspects not included in the traditional educational and communicative designs of the media would be necessary to incorporate and which are not present nowadays?
  • What challenges and opportunities do the transformation that the smart-screen present in the current contexts of teacher training capacitation?
  • What aspects are fundamental for the capacitation of teachers in education that have to do with the promotion of opportunities, but also preventing risks and fostering security and the protection of minors?
  • What aspects related to children and the media should be addressed for its potential influence and consequences in the future?

Thematic editors profiles

Dr Antonio García-Jiménez, Rey Juan Carlos University (Spain)

Professor of Journalism at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (Spain). PhD in Information Sciences from the Universidad Complutense (1996).He has held the position of dean of the Faculty of Communication Sciences at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos University (2008-14). Director of the Master in Communication and Sociocultural Problems (2015- 2018). His research and teaching interest are connected to “new media, society and Internet” and “information retrieval in media”. He has led and/or participated in more than 18 different competitive research projects, in particular, related to cyberspace uses among adolescents and youth. Some of the recent projects are: “Social networks, adolescents and young people: media convergence and digital culture” (CSO2016-74980-C2-2-R) and “Program of Activities on Digital Vulnerability” (PROVULDIG). He has published more than 45 indexed papers, 24 contributions in the form of book or book chapters. Some of his recent research is: “An approach to the concept of a virtual border: identities and communication spaces” (2010); “Comunicación, infancia y juventud. Situación e investigación en España” (Communication, childhood and youth. Situation and research in Spain) (2012); “The influence of social networks in adolescents’ online practices” (2013); “Problematic Internet use among Spanish adolescents: The predictive role of Internet preference and family relationships” (2015); Adolescents and YouTube. Creation, participation and Consumption (2016); Teen videos on YouTube: Features and digital vulnerabilities(2018) among others.


Dr Cristina Ponte, Nova University of Lisboa (Portugal)

Associate Professor with Habilitation in Media and Journalism Studies (2011), she holds a PhD in Communication (2002). Currently, she is Executive Coordinator of the Department of Communication at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (NOVA FCSH), Portugal. She has a wide experience on leading international and large teams of researchers: she was member of the Steering Group in the COST Action IS0906, Transforming Audiences, Transforming Societies (2010-14), in which she coordinated the Working Group’ Audience Transformation and Social Integration’ (40+ participants from 17 countries); she has been responsible for Dissemination and Global Cooperation in the EU Kids Online network, in which she has contributed to the Latin American Kids Online. She led two funded projects – Children and Young People in the News (2005-07) and Digital Inclusion and Participation (2009-11), the later with the University of Texas at Austin – both involving interdisciplinary teams of more than ten senior and junior researchers. She was vice-chair of the Audience and Reception Section (2008-12) and the Temporary Working Group of Children, Youth and Media, at ECREA. Among her main interests are media and family generations with a focus on children and media, from representations to children’s practices. She has published extensively on children and media and training students as young researchers. Recently, she coordinated the first Portuguese representative study on screens in the life of young children, Growing up among screens, funded by the Portuguese Authority for Communication (ERC, 2017). She is a member of the Editorial Board of several journals, among them the Journal of Children and Media (JOCAM). Among her most recent publications is the co-edited book, Digital Parenting. The Challenges for Families in the Digital Age (Nordicom, 2018) and the co-authored chapter ‘Parental Practices in the era of smartphones’, in Smartphone Cultures, edited by Jane Vincent and Leslie Haddon (Routledge, 2018).


Dr Félix Ortega-Mohedano, University of Salamanca (Spain)

Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology and Communication at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Universidad de Salamanca, Spain. Director of the Master in Communication: Research and Innovation, since 2017 to present,, Academic Secretary of the IUCE, University Institute for Research in Educational Sciences from 2008 to the present ( He holds a PhD. in Communication, Culture and Education, (2006), member of the Observatory of Audiovisual Content (OCA), Research Group of Excellence (GIE-GR319) ( He has participated in 17 competitive research projects internationally, nationally and regionally. He has been the principal investigator at COST Action IS1004 Individuals, Societies, Cultures and Health Web-based data-collection – methodological challenges, solutions and implementations (Webdatanet). He has published more than 25 indexed papers, 20 contributions in the form of book or book chapters. Some of his recent works are: “Audiences in revolution. Use and consumption of mass media groups’ for tablets and smartphones” (2015, RLCS). “Communication studiesresearchwithinSpanishuniversitiesspanning the years 2007 to 2014” (2017, EPI), “Cultural industries and character composition in children’s animated television series broadcast in Spain” (2018, RLCS) “Communication research in Spain: Weaknesses, threats, strengths and opportunities” (2018, Comunicar); “The Invisibility of Latin American Scholarship in European Media and Communication Studies: Challenges and Opportunities of De-Westernization and Academic Cosmopolitanism” (2019, International Journal of Communication) among others.


Instructions and proposals

View Editorial Guidelines here

Contributions to the Special Issue can be submitted here


  • Starting date for proposal articles: 1 June 2019
  • Deadline for proposal articles: 30 December 2019
  • Preprint version: 15 May 2020/Print version: 1 July 2020

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 30 December 2019