Building Together on 10 Years of Innovation and Research

by Catherine Jhee
December 6, 2017

Attention all designers, developers, and researchers:

On December 6, 2007, The New York Times covered the creation of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.

Almost 50 years ago, Joan Ganz Cooney submitted a proposal to the Carnegie Corporation that led to the creation of Sesame Street. Inspired by a conversation with Lloyd Morrisett about how children were so captivated by television that they were effortlessly learning advertising jingles, she conducted interviews with cognitive psychologists, preschool educators, television producers, and filmmakers to explore how this new medium could be harnessed to help young children learn to read and write. She and her colleagues then assembled a team of researchers, writers, and producers to create a program that has since become the longest running children’s television show in history.

Fast forward to 2007: the Internet was already an important part of daily life, and producers were building websites and digital games for young children. So the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop was founded as an organization dedicated to further exploring the question that had launched Sesame Street in 1967: How can emerging media help children learn?

One of the founding tenets of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop has been to bring together children’s media producers with the scholars who are advancing our understanding of how children learn. The Center’s research aims to inform designers and creators of some of the ways that children and their families engage with emerging technologies—such as e-books—to empower them in creating even more effective products. And we have always been open to sharing information, created by our team as well as others, to benefit the field at large.

The Cooney Center blog plays an important role in disseminating these valuable insights and resources. Over the last 10 years, we’ve heard from a wide variety of community members on a diverse range of topics, with some of our most popular pieces including:

Today, we invite those of you who grapple with issues around children’s media and its educational potential to contribute to share your expertise on our blog. Please send us a brief proposal by February 1, 2018 that describes your project and area of focus, as well as potential topics for a series of three to five possible blog posts.