April 2013

How Can Apps Cultivate Creativity in Young Children?

Play is the work of young children. Developmental psychologists tell us that creative play helps children learn to understand themselves and other people, the world and their place in it. And creativity is a skill that’s going to matter even more as today’s young children enter the adult world. Experts say creative thinking is going to be the most important leadership...

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Bringing Families Together for Maker Learning at the Museum

At the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s MAKESHOP, kids have a chance to uncover their inner tinkerer. Whether creating a paper shadow puppet with LEDs for eyes, a drill-powered skateboard, or a newspaper chair you can really sit in, the kids and their parents are engaging in one of the most effective ways to learn—hands-on or experiential learning. They’re also learning...

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Slate: The History of Mister Rogers’ Powerful Message

In the wake of yesterday’s Boston Marathon bombings, many took to social media to comment on the tragedy. One of the sentiments repeated again and again came from Mister Rogers. When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are...

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During the Week of the Young Child, Support Creative Play

It’s the Week of the Young Child, an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), designed to bring national attention to the needs of children ages zero to eight. The week was first celebrated in 1971 to raise awareness about the foundational nature of the early childhood years to children's success in academic settings...

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Raising Readers in the Digital Age: Under the Hood of Scholastic’s E-book Platform Storia

Scholastic is the world’s largest children’s book publisher, especially familiar to generations of parents and kids via its book clubs and fairs.  Scholastic’s Media Group is also a leading producer of children’s and family film, TV, and interactive media. Its eReading platform, Storia, launched in 2012. I spoke with Deborah Forte, President of Scholastic Media, about the company’s expertise in fostering...

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The Willingness to Fail

I am anxious and frustrated.  My palm is sweating, my face red with indignation.  Next to me sits my bemused family pal, less than half my age, watching me stumble on the way to inevitable demise.  We are playing his game, and he is killing me. This is the basic problem with our popular belief that game-playing is the chief culprit...

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