Seeking Better Apps for Young Children

A vast majority of apps for young children are developed with the best intention, but few really support children’s development in a purposeful way (ABC apps being a great example). Digital technology shouldn’t just mimic what and how children already learn—it needs to expand and improve on it. Children’s media landscape has evolved significantly in recent years, with mobile devices becoming...

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What I Learned from Fred Rogers

To reach children through media, we have to start with understanding children. On Rogers’ 85th birthday, a close colleague who worked alongside Rogers for many years shares why parents and media makers still have a lot to learn from this TV pioneer. It’s hard for me to believe, but it was 46 years ago when I began working with Fred Rogers...

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Happy Birthday, Mister Rogers

Fred Rogers would be 85 today. For children everywhere, there were few other voices so reassuring, so warm, and so engaging. Fred Rogers' approach to children sprang from empathy and experience—he had a difficult start, but a warm and loving family allowed him to grow into a confident teen and compassionate adult. Born in spring of 1928, about a year before...

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A Q&A with Chip Donohue and Roberta Schomburg

A year after the Rogers Center and the National Association for the Education of Young Children
(NAEYC) released Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children From Birth through Age 8, we talk with two experts about what excites them about using technology with preschoolers. Rogers Center senior fellow Chip Donohue is Dean of Distance Learning and Continuing...

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Tips for Choosing Digital Toys for Your Children

Imagine two dozen football fields packed with stuffed animals, dolls, games, puzzles, craft kits, art supplies, wooden toys, sporting goods, trains, cars, an ocean of plastic, and, yes, lots of tech-enabled toys. I attended the world’s largest toy and hobby show to speak at its Toys 3.0 Business Forum on “Interactive Media as Family Connectors.” I was confident in my examples...

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How Some Digital Media May Actually Help Children Learn to Focus

Teachers are quite worried that digital media are harming children’s learning, according to two 2012 studies on teachers’ views on digital media—one by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and the other by Common Sense Media. Matt Richtel of the New York Times summarizes their concerns: There is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital...

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Beyond Screen Time

Content, context, and the needs of the individual child.  This triad of considerations – drawn from journalist Lisa Guernsey’s 2007 book, “Into the Minds of Babes” – forms the core of the Fred Rogers Center’s Framework for Quality in Children’s Digital Media. Under this rubric, the generic term “screen time” ceases to be a useful measuring stick for young children’s media...

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