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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Fred Rogers Center at the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative America

“If we don’t apply what we know to helping our kids…are we really going to be able to attain the American dream?”  With these words, Hillary Clinton set the theme of personal commitment to quality early childhood education at this year’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America conference. Through her Too Small to Fail partnership with Next Generation, Clinton’s leadership and engagement...

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The Elements of Good Teaching, in an App

After 27 years teaching kindergarten, Frances Judd is used to noise, so the combination coffee/bike repair shop where we met to talk was no challenge. Judd retired from the classroom recently and now uses her experience as a teacher and toy designer to develop Mrs. Judd’s Games, mobile apps that foster early learning. I interviewed Judd to discuss how she structured her...

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Q&A: A New Survey on Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology

Most parents are not all that worried about the role of technology in their children’s lives. And they are more likely to rely on books and analog activities than digital devices to keep their children busy. Those are the conclusions of a new survey released this week.  Based on a nationally representative survey of more than 2,300 parents of children...

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Learning from Television—Kids Do (and so Can Media Developers)

In my prior post, I argued for thinking about a media “diet” rather than focusing only on the amount of time spent with media. Like food, media provide children with content that is both good and bad for healthy development.  Because television remains children’s most-used electronic medium, a good media diet for children includes educational television. By educational television, I mean...

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