Technology & Interactive Media
A Whole Child Approach
Fred Rogers often emphasized skills such as acknowledging and talking about feelings, self-control, expecting and accepting mistakes as part of learning, empathy, conflict resolution, and appreciating and respecting others. These social-emotional skills are a critical component for school and life success. Recognizing that a “whole-child” approach to children’s development emphasizes social-emotional development as much as cognitive, physical, and language development, and that all aspects of development are deeply intertwined, there is much room left to help educators appropriately use technology tools to support all aspects of development. We believe that social-emotional development is an area where technology may have very distinct advantages.
The Fred Rogers Center is partnering with the Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center at the Erikson Institute in Chicago, under the leadership of Dr. Chip Donohue, to extend the messages of the NAEYC-Fred Rogers Center position statement with an upcoming report exploring the key issues, latest research, and best practices for using technology and interactive media to support whole-child development, and especially children’s social-emotional skills. This work will empower educators and families to use the technology available to them in their schools, homes, or pockets to help children develop the social-emotional skills they need in the digital age. This may also help technology and media developers to create and market evidence-based content that support healthy social-emotional development, relationships, and prosocial behaviors. The report is expected to be issued at the Fred Forward Conference in 2016.