February 2013

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Tips for Choosing Digital Toys for Your Children

Imagine two dozen football fields packed with stuffed animals, dolls, games, puzzles, craft kits, art supplies, wooden toys, sporting goods, trains, cars, an ocean of plastic, and, yes, lots of tech-enabled toys. I attended the world’s largest toy and hobby show to speak at its Toys 3.0 Business Forum on “Interactive Media as Family Connectors.” I was confident in my examples...

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How Some Digital Media May Actually Help Children Learn to Focus

Teachers are quite worried that digital media are harming children’s learning, according to two 2012 studies on teachers’ views on digital media—one by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and the other by Common Sense Media. Matt Richtel of the New York Times summarizes their concerns: There is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital...

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Choosing Tech Toys for Tots: No Small Parent Feat

Digital media has infiltrated every aspect of our lives, how we communicate, shop, organize and get our news. It’s also invading the world of play as touch screen tablets, eBooks, smartphones and mobile apps are defining virtual toy chests for children as young as tots learning to walk and talk. [q_button type='transparent_button' size='medium' text='Read More' icon_pack='font_awesome' fa_icon='' fe_icon='' icon_color='' link='http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/02/15/choosing-tech-toys-for-tots-no-small-parent-feat/' target='_self'...

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Beyond Screen Time

Content, context, and the needs of the individual child.  This triad of considerations – drawn from journalist Lisa Guernsey’s 2007 book, “Into the Minds of Babes” – forms the core of the Fred Rogers Center’s Framework for Quality in Children’s Digital Media. Under this rubric, the generic term “screen time” ceases to be a useful measuring stick for young children’s media...

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In Pittsburgh, Early Learning Matters

Support for children in early childhood is still a priority in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. In fact, the Pittsburgh area has become a center for those who care deeply about supporting learning for very young children and exploring the potential for early learning with technology and digital media. In Melissa Butler’s kindergarten classroom at Pittsburgh Allegany, an elementary school on the city’s...

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Advice for Parents on Appropriate Media Use in Early Childhood

Ellen Wartella believes media do have learning potential in early childhood.  And she should know. Wartella has been a senior fellow here at the Fred Rogers Center since 2006. She is professor of communication and human development and social policy at Northwestern University and has been studying the impact of media on children for more than 30 years. Wartella says that...

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