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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Back to School With the Maker Movement

My 5-year-old spent the summer getting very messy. When I picked her up at preschool one day in July, she was barefoot, shirtless, and covered in mud from head to toe. She and three friends had been building a mountain in their school’s play yard. Their materials: rocks, gold paint, feathers, and lots of good old-fashioned mud. That was one of...

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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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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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Growing the Innovation Economy, One Young Technologist at a Time

This post was originally published at RemakeLearning.org. It appears here with permission. There may be some light at the end of the great recession. At least that’s what urbanists like Bruce Katz think. Katz is one of the economists who’s been cheering on the revolutionary models he sees in cities across America, because as he sees it, the economy of the...

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Study Shows Tech in the Classroom Boosts Math Skills for Youngest Learners

This week my colleagues at Education Development Center and SRI International and I are releasing findings from our Prekindergarten Transmedia Mathematics Study. This research is part of Ready to Learn, a partnership between the US Department of Education, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and PBS. The basic premise of Ready to Learn is that it marshals public media resources in...

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Mozilla’s Open Badges Create a New Currency for Learning

“Get recognition for the skills you learn anywhere”—that’s the idea behind the Mozilla Foundation’s Open Badges experiment. Classrooms have never been the only place where kids learn. From tinkering in basements to getting excited about reading in book clubs, kids are continuously learning new skills and hatching new ideas. And as digital media tools and online spaces, from Photoshop to the...

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What Media For Young Children Can Teach Their Grown-Ups

This post orginally appeared at the New America Foundation's Early Ed Watch. It appears here with permission. Last month I had the opportunity to write about one of my favorite preschool television shows, Sid the Science Kid.  The piece, “How Kids’ Television Inspires a Lifelong Love of Science,” is part of a special online report on Educating Americans for the 21st...

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