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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Can Media Help Create Family Conversation?

For very young children, talking is teaching. As we’ve written, the language-rich interaction between young children and their caregivers is most important for learning. Writing in the New York Times recently, Tina Rosenberg resurfaced some important research about the stark disparity that exists between the number of words lower income and higher income children hear at home, and the affect...

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Three Words for Digital-Age Parents: Access, Balance, and Support

Here’s a given about being the parent of a young child—it’s exhausting. Mix in some unknowns like your child’s seemingly unnatural attraction to glowing screens, and it can be bewildering. What’s the right mix of apps and grass stains? Here’s another given. There is no “correct” answer, and you’re probably too busy to read a 15-page research synopsis, like the Fred...

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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 remakelearning.org. 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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How Can Apps Cultivate Creativity in Young Children?

Play is the work of young children. Developmental psychologists tell us that creative play helps children learn to understand themselves and other people, the world and their place in it. And creativity is a skill that’s going to matter even more as today’s young children enter the adult world. Experts say creative thinking is going to be the most important leadership...

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Bringing Families Together for Maker Learning at the Museum

At the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s MAKESHOP, kids have a chance to uncover their inner tinkerer. Whether creating a paper shadow puppet with LEDs for eyes, a drill-powered skateboard, or a newspaper chair you can really sit in, the kids and their parents are engaging in one of the most effective ways to learn—hands-on or experiential learning. They’re also learning...

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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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Raising Readers in the Digital Age: Under the Hood of Scholastic’s E-book Platform Storia

Scholastic is the world’s largest children’s book publisher, especially familiar to generations of parents and kids via its book clubs and fairs.  Scholastic’s Media Group is also a leading producer of children’s and family film, TV, and interactive media. Its eReading platform, Storia, launched in 2012. I spoke with Deborah Forte, President of Scholastic Media, about the company’s expertise in fostering...

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The Willingness to Fail

I am anxious and frustrated.  My palm is sweating, my face red with indignation.  Next to me sits my bemused family pal, less than half my age, watching me stumble on the way to inevitable demise.  We are playing his game, and he is killing me. This is the basic problem with our popular belief that game-playing is the chief culprit...

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