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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Playing Online

You may have heard young children in your life talking about time they spent online on sites like Webkinz or Club Penguin and you may wonder why your 7-year-old niece, for example, keeps going back for more. Virtual worlds are immersive 2-D or 3-D spaces in which users adopt an avatar, or online character, in order to represent themselves and interact...

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How Am I Doing? A Checklist for Identifying Exemplary Uses of Technology for Early Learning

Do technology tools and interactive media like iPads, cameras, or e-readers, belong in the early childhood classroom? If so, how should early childhood educators be using them? What are the best ways and when are the best times to use technology with very young kids in a classroom setting? The NAEYC-Fred Rogers Center position statement is meant to help educators answer...

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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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