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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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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Planet of the Apps

I’m beginning to see evidence that we have evolved into the Planet of the Apps. Technology is controlling human communication, with the dominant species tweeting, twittering, texting, and taking and sending photos and videos with Instagram instead of conversing and cuddling. This is especially true for young children. I did find it disconcerting to have my 13-month-old granddaughter come over to...

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What Parents and Care Providers Need to Know When Choosing Tech For Young Children

Experts in media and young children agree; how the youngest children use technology—ideally, with caregivers and with an eye on their learning and development—is more important than how old they are when they start. It’s the latest in baby gear, and it’s got everybody talking. The Fisher-Price iPad Apptivity Seat is a reclining baby seat with a toy bar and a...

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Finding Ways to Put the “Education” Back in Educational Apps

The holiday season is behind us and with it came a flood of newly wrapped gifts, trendy clothes that fit (or did not), and a host of stimulating digital toys and games intricately designed to build our brains for the new world order. As parents, we are overwhelmed—dare we say flummoxed—by the sheer volume of so-called “educational” material that we can...

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Can Media Help Teach Emotional Intelligence?

Fred Rogers was among the first to demonstrate that television can have a positive impact on a child’s social-emotional development, which is integral for success in school and life in general. In fact, ever since Daniel Goleman’s book on the subject in 1995, emotional intelligence (EI), or “a person’s ability to perceive, identify, and manage emotion,” has become a hot...

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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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