Author: Sarah Jackson

Bringing Technology to the Sandbox

Young children learn best from active engagement with their world and the people in it—through exploration, experience, and discovery. That’s why preschool classrooms have long been filled with water tables and sandboxes. Pouring water through a funnel, building a sand castle, or touching a butterfly wing helps young kids test theories about the physical world. And learning to navigate the...

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The Teachers’ Innovation Project

In Melissa Butler’s kindergarten classroom at Pittsburgh Allegheny, an elementary school on the city’s north side, 5-year-olds are learning about simple circuits and electricity. The children examine the circuit parts, take them apart carefully, and notice each component. They sketch the technology from different angles. They discuss what they see with their teachers and their friends. This classroom is part of a...

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Back to School With the Maker Movement

My 5-year-old spent the summer getting very messy. When I picked her up at preschool one day in July, she was barefoot, shirtless, and covered in mud from head to toe. She and three friends had been building a mountain in their school’s play yard. Their materials: rocks, gold paint, feathers, and lots of good old-fashioned mud. That was one of...

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Working Together to Design Great Games for Kids

Last year Common Sense Media found that in a two-year period, the average amount of time children spend using mobile devices had tripled. Kids of all ages (including those younger than 2) spend increasing amounts of time playing games and using apps on the family iPad. And among the debates about whether this digital deluge is good or bad for kids,...

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Ten Questions for Educators to Ask When Using Technology with Young Children

Do technology tools and interactive media like iPads, cameras, or e-readers, belong in the early childhood classroom? If so, how should educators be using them? At the Fred Rogers Center, we believe technology and interactive media do have the potential to help children learn in the early years, but only if they are used in intentional, developmentally appropriate ways. Here are...

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Technology and Family Life

“How do you handle screen time—iPads, iPhones, computers—with your kids? Do you have rules?” The 92 Street Y posed this question to readers on Facebook in preparation for its recent conference on parenting. I know many of you probably do have rules, and if you’re reading our blog, you have probably thought about this quite a bit before. That technology is...

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What We’ve Learned From Fred Rogers

After more than 25 years at Saint Vincent College, the last four as executive director of the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media, Rita Catalano will retire at the end of 2013.  In December, RemakeLearning.org, a publication of Pittsburgh's Kids+Creativity Network, sat down with Catalano and Bill Isler, CEO of the Fred Rogers Company, to discuss Rogers' life and...

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Growing the Innovation Economy, One Young Technologist at a Time

This post was originally published at RemakeLearning.org. It appears here with permission. There may be some light at the end of the great recession. At least that’s what urbanists like Bruce Katz think. Katz is one of the economists who’s been cheering on the revolutionary models he sees in cities across America, because as he sees it, the economy of the...

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Turn off the TV in the Background and Talk to Your Children

What parents can learn from the early science of brain development. We’ve been closely following Hillary Clinton’s new Too Small to Fail campaign. We were happy to see this helpful post from research associate Rey Fuentes, posted at Next Generation (one of the campaign’s partners) on, among other things, the importance of turning off the TV in the background. He emphasizes...

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Imaginary Play with Technology

At the Fred Rogers Center we’re very interested in how new media tools can be used to provide professional development support for professionals who work with young children. Our latest innovation, the Fred Rogers Center Early Learning Environment™ (Ele) is designed to do just that. The web-based support system uses new media tools to provide resources for parents, teachers, and home-based...

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