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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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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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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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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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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Diversity in Children’s Media Is More Than Just Race or Gender

Diversity is more than demographics. Media designer and professor of learning technologies Kevin Clark says we need to think about diversity holistically—being aware of what children hear, see, and do. A speaker at a last year’s Fred Forward conference said, “To create diversity, you have to be diverse.” That is an amazing statement. As a media designer, I’m constantly striving to...

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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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