This Summer, a Revised Mission for the Fred Rogers Center and for This Blog

This spring we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Fred Rogers Center. And we’ve been busy. In May we honored musician Yo-Yo Ma as the first recipient of the Fred Rogers Legacy Award. In June we hosted educators, media developers, and children’s media researchers from around the country for our biennial Fred Forward Conference, and we announced...

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Communicating, Collaborating and Creating Change at Fred Forward

This post was originally published at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, and appears here with permission.  This spring, I was given an extremely exciting opportunity when the Fred Rogers Center named me an Early Career Fellow. The mission of the Fred Rogers Center is to advance the fields of early learning and children’s media by acting as a catalyst for communication,...

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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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Digital Media Literacy for Early Childhood Educators

How do we support early childhood teacher preparation so it keeps pace with technology? At the 2014 Fred Forward Conference, representatives from the TEC Center at Erikson Institute, Mozilla Foundation, Common Sense Media, and the Council for Professional Recognition will discuss how to enhance digital media literacy for educators. It’s challenging to be an analog-age educator welcoming digital-age children into your...

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Do the Building Blocks of Computer Programming Begin in Preschool?

These are exciting times in the field of early childhood education. Creative teachers are discovering effective ways to offer children a healthy blend of sensory-rich tactile investigations, artistic creativity, meaningful collaborations, and high-tech tools geared toward problem solving and documenting a child’s work/play. The advent of touch-screen interactions allows screen time to be both engaging and investigatory; and, happily, the current...

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Why the Screen Debate Needs to Happen at App Level

To engage in real debate, critics of screen time need to name the apps they are concerned about, argues Children's Technology Review Editor Warren Buckleitner, a presenter at the 2014 Fred Forward Conference. He names 10 specific research questions about kids and apps. The Great Screen Debate is stuck. Despite the forward thinking of the joint position statement on children and...

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Children’s Librarians as Digital Media Mentors

There are approximately 16,000 public library branches and bookmobiles in the United States, most of them with staff trained specifically to serve young children and their families. One of the mainstays of library services to children is storytime, where library professionals plan and implement early learning experiences designed to expose families with young children to high quality content (reader’s advisory) and...

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Technology that Supports Early Learning – Three Examples

Digital storytelling for dual language learners; e-books about empathy; deep diving on a virtual Titanic; and more innovative uses of technology for early learning. Computers, tablets, smartphones, apps, and other digital tools are part of our everyday lives. When used appropriately, technology can help children explore their world, express and make sense of what they know, and interact with other children....

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Why Mister Rogers Is Still a Children’s Media Pioneer in 2014

Those of us raised on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” may not have known that Fred Rogers was a child development expert, a composer and lyricist, a TV producer, and an ordained minister. Actually, we didn’t need to know all that. Because what was apparent to every child who tuned in day after day to sing along with him or to watch the...

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Contrary to Claims, Not All Media Is Bad For Kids Under 12

It's been quite a week in the children's media world. While preparing for the week ahead last Sunday, I noticed an article on Huffington Post that was spreading virally through my friends on Facebook. The article was a call to ban all hand-held devices from children under the age of 12. Backing up the claim, the author cited a long...

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