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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Paul Tough on Stress and Children’s Success

Recently, author Paul Tough was the Saint Vincent College Threshold Series lecturer, as the opening event  in celebration of the Fred Rogers Center’s 10th anniversary. Tough’s recent book, “How Children Succeed,” explains the brain science behind the toxic effects of long-term stress on young children and how to prevent and undo the harm it produces. Fred Rogers knew the importance of...

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Social Media in Early Childhood Programs

Parent: “What did you do today?” Child: “Nothing.” That’s the classic exchange at dinner tables around the country, much to the exasperation of parents everywhere. But technology is beginning to change that. Teachers are using resources such as Twitter and Facebook to help their students share their learning and achievements with their family and friends, both during the school day and later, at home....

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Roundtable on the Science of Digital Media and Early Learning

This post orginally appeared at the Early Ed Watch and appears here with permission. With nearly 100,000 apps in the education category of the iTunes app store, and television still a huge part of children’s daily lives, the questions about how technology affects learning are more pertinent than ever.  At the New America Foundation last week, the Early Education Initiative sought...

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The Smart Way to Use iPads in the Classroom

This post orginally appeared at Slate. It appears here with permission. Touch-screen tablets for young students have become all the rage. Some districts are even buying iPads for every kindergartner, a move sparking both celebration and consternation. Do we really want to give $500 devices to kids who can’t even tie their shoes? What are these schools doing with these devices,...

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How Early Childhood Educators Use Technology in the Classroom

A new survey of early childhood educators shows they think technology can play a positive role in children’s learning. But they need support in order to make use of new tools in their classrooms. We are on the cusp of tremendous changes in early childhood education as technology introduces new opportunities for learning and teaching. To learn more about how early...

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