You Are (Not) Special

It is the season of commencement speeches again.  From high school auditoriums to college athletic fields, graduates are exhorted to “be all that you can be,” “let what you love be what you do,” “be somebody,” “serve somebody,” and, of course, “change the world.” Last weekend, as I watched my own students march in their caps and gowns, I couldn’t help...

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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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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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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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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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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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How Teachers Are Using Digital Media with Kindergarteners

Paper, paint, crayons, blocks, yarn, scissors, chalk, buttons, trucks, books, dolls, masks, capes, and puzzles are among the many items you’d find walking into a high-quality early childhood classroom.  These materials provide children with the opportunity to explore and develop their creativity, socials skills, math concepts, a sense of inquiry, and much more. Increasingly, you’d also find digital cameras, touch-screen mobile...

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Children’s Museums: Spaces for 21st Century Play

This post orginally appeared at This week the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh welcomes museum professionals from around the country for InterActivity 2013: Reimagining Children’s Museums. This is part of a three-year exploration of what it means to experience a children’s museum in the 21st century. In addition to educational conference panels, the Association of Children’s Museums asked four interdisciplinary design...

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During the Week of the Young Child, Support Creative Play

It’s the Week of the Young Child, an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), designed to bring national attention to the needs of children ages zero to eight. The week was first celebrated in 1971 to raise awareness about the foundational nature of the early childhood years to children's success in academic settings...

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