With App, Kids Can Communicate Through Art

“Early career” is not a phrase you’d readily apply to an educator whose work has brought him to locales as diverse as Chicago, Florida, and New Zealand, and who’s authored one book, with another one in the works. But Brian Puerling, the director of education technology at Chicago’s Catherine Cook School, has done all of the above. At age 32,...

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Can Touchscreen Technology Teach Preschoolers About Feelings?

James Alex Bonus and Alanna Peebles have spent hours watching and analyzing children’s TV shows. Graduate students in communication science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Bonus and Peebles are interested in how children ages 3 to 5 understand narrative. “When we make these shows for kids, there’s a lot of mental obstacles for them that we might not recognize,” Bonus said. Research...

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Bringing Technology to the Sandbox

Young children learn best from active engagement with their world and the people in it—through exploration, experience, and discovery. That’s why preschool classrooms have long been filled with water tables and sandboxes. Pouring water through a funnel, building a sand castle, or touching a butterfly wing helps young kids test theories about the physical world. And learning to navigate the...

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Communicating, Collaborating and Creating Change at Fred Forward

This post was originally published at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, and appears here with permission.  This spring, I was given an extremely exciting opportunity when the Fred Rogers Center named me an Early Career Fellow. The mission of the Fred Rogers Center is to advance the fields of early learning and children’s media by acting as a catalyst for communication,...

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Working Together to Design Great Games for Kids

Last year Common Sense Media found that in a two-year period, the average amount of time children spend using mobile devices had tripled. Kids of all ages (including those younger than 2) spend increasing amounts of time playing games and using apps on the family iPad. And among the debates about whether this digital deluge is good or bad for kids,...

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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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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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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,, 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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