Preschoolers Can Learn Good Things From TV

This post orginally appeared at Seattle Mama Doc, a Seattle Children’s Hospital blog. It appears here with permission. Television programming for children is abundant. Screens are a luxurious fixture in most of our lives and I’m not here to tell you to turn them off. Well, at least not today. In fact, that tactic, the one where we pediatricians urge families...

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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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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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How To Use Digital Media with Young Children

If you have a young learner in your house, you’re probably already gearing up for the fall, buying new backpacks and enjoying the last few weeks of summer. For those of you looking for advice on how to use digital media with young children at home or in school, we’ve collected this roundup of key messages from the past few...

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Technology for Young Dual Language Learners

Dual language learners are the fastest growing segment of the population in the United States, currently representing about 25 percent of children under age 6. A dual language learner (DLL) is any young child who is growing up with two or more languages, regardless of his or her proficiency. Research reviewed by the Center for Early Childhood Education Research shows that...

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Can Apps Encourage Parents and Kids to Use Media Together?

Whether watching TV, playing games online, or using apps on mom’s iPad, we know that younger children are likely to get more out of a media experience when they play or watch alongside another person. A new survey from Northwestern University finds that family media environment has a big impact on how young children interact with media and on whether...

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How Museums and Libraries Support Early Learning

Far too often, children, and particularly low-income children, show up for school already behind, lacking the cognitive and social-emotional tools in their toolbox that make them ready to learn. In this highly competitive world, where education increasingly means greater security, falling behind so early in life can lead to disastrous consequences. Educators do their best to bolster children’s skills once they...

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Q&A: A New Survey on Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology

Most parents are not all that worried about the role of technology in their children’s lives. And they are more likely to rely on books and analog activities than digital devices to keep their children busy. Those are the conclusions of a new survey released this week.  Based on a nationally representative survey of more than 2,300 parents of children...

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Learning from Television—Kids Do (and so Can Media Developers)

In my prior post, I argued for thinking about a media “diet” rather than focusing only on the amount of time spent with media. Like food, media provide children with content that is both good and bad for healthy development.  Because television remains children’s most-used electronic medium, a good media diet for children includes educational television. By educational television, I mean...

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