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About the Summer School

Media have become ubiquitous in our private and professional lives. They influence our perception of the world, ourselves, and others, and have become omnipresent in the ways we learn, communicate, maintain relationships, and collaborate. Even when we are in close physical proximity to others, many of us decide to engage in mediated communication, e.g., via smartphones or tablets.

Controversies regarding the detrimental and beneficial effects of media use have been part of public as well as scientific debates for quite a while now. On the one hand, issues, such as the influence of media violence on aggression and the moral development of our children, the dangers of excessive internet use, and procrastination are topics of heated disputes within and outside of academia. On the other hand, researchers and practitioners have been able to demonstrate a diverse set of beneficial effects of media use, e. g., in education and learning, personal growth, the coordination of family life and friendship networks, information sharing, health behavior, and well-being over the lifespan.

The International Summer School "Living with Media", hosted by the Graduate School of the Faculty of Human Sciences at the University of Cologne, is the first in a series of summer schools organized in collaboration with Michigan State University (USA). The summer school will provide advanced training for PhD students as well as for advanced Master students and aims at fostering sustainable and productive international and interdisciplinary networks to enable the next generation of media researchers to address the scientific and societal challenges of the mediated world of today and tomorrow.

To this end, the summer schools will bring together senior and junior researchers from psychology, education, media studies, and communication to discuss current theories, cutting-edge methods, and future prospects related to the arising questions in the field of media use and effects.

The summer school in Cologne will take place from July 19th to 24th, 2015. It will cover four general topics:

1. Media, development, education, and learning
2. Online communication and social media
3. Media, morality, and social norms
4. Media, well-being, and self-regulation

The next summer school will be held at Michigan State University in East Lansing, USA in 2016.