Choosing Appropriate Apps for the Early Childhood Classroom

As an increasing number of early childhood educators include tablets in their programs, they are asking more questions about how to use these digital tools. How should they choose which apps to download? How will they use apps to create engaging and effective learning experiences for their students? Gail Lovely, founder of LovelyLearning.com, is one person who can help navigate this...

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What Do Quality Children’s Apps Look Like?

Over the past few months, we’ve hosted three “Quality Conversations” on this blog. We’ve explored issues to keep in mind when selecting digital media for children, with the goal of advancing the discussion that began in 2012 at the Fred Forward Conference. In each of the three conversations, we showed a video of a child using an app and asked...

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Media as a Prompt for Play

Recently, I gave a talk at the World Congress of Play in San Francisco. I chose the topic “Media as a Prompt for Play” for a number of reasons: First, from the earliest days of children’s TV, screens have brought young people ideas for playful games and activities, whether through direct instruction or simply modeling. I began my talk with a...

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Childhood Poverty is at the Root of the Nation’s Education Inequality

Inequality is a hot topic at the moment, and rightly so. Decades of wage stagnation, job loss, and most recently a housing crisis have hollowed out the middle class. Meanwhile, incomes at the top are accumulating like helium balloons on the ceiling. The chance of living the American Dream and doing better than one’s parents is fading. But often overlooked in...

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For Infants and Toddlers in the Digital Age, Time with Adults Still Matters Most

The Rogers Center's Michael Robb takes a look at what we know from the research about infants and media and shares suggestions for how to use technology and interactive media in age-appropriate, intentional ways. When it comes to infants and toddlers have long been considered a special audience. Although several public health organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and 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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Tips for Supervising Students on the Digital Playground

As teachers and administrators at Catherine Cook School in Chicago, we are familiar with the playground antics of young children creating games, revising these games, and truly exploring their creativity and developing social skills through imaginative play. But the playground isn’t the only place where kids explore through play, and teachers and parents must begin preparing children for the new...

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Latino Families and Technology Use

As readers of the Fred Rogers Center blog recognize through their daily interactions with kids and their families around the country, nearly a quarter of all children under the age of five years old today are Latino. And according to population projections, this number is set to increase exponentially— Hispanic-Latino families are among the fastest growing groups in the United...

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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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