About the Center

The ​Families ​Learning ​Conference focuses ​on ​innovative ​strategies ​and ​practices ​in ​family ​literacy ​and ​learning, ​two-generation ​education ​solutions, ​and ​parent ​and ​family ​engagement. Attending the conference will equip you with tools and strategies to use right away with the students, families, and communities you serve. This year’s meeting takes place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. See the website for more information on registration and fees: http://conference.familieslearning.org/

Recently posted by this author:

Why does the rain fall down instead of up? How parents support science learning, and how media can help.

July 24, 2018

In Jackson, Mississippi, researchers visited a family of seven (including a niece and nephew), headed by a stay-at-home mom in her 20s. During the visit, the children sat around the mom as she described their latest learning activities, including 1-on-1 homework time and making “slime.” One activity—planting a seed in … 







Early Learning in the Digital Age: A Snapshot of Family Engagement Programs

July 17, 2018

Promoting early learning through the support and empowerment of families—especially those who are under-resourced—has become an imperative for education leaders nationwide. In 2014, New America’s Learning Technologies project in the Education Policy program published Envisioning a Digital Age Architecture for Early Education to help leaders visualize success in this media-infused … 







Developing an Engaging Empathy-Focused Children’s App with Research

July 16, 2018

In May, Maayan Eldar and Ashley Mannetta discussed Me: A Kid’s Diary by Tinybop at the International Communication Association Conference in Prague. The app encourages empathy and self-reflection by inviting children to respond to a series of questions about themselves and their lives with drawings, photos, texts, or recordings. We invited … 







Podcasts for Families: Meet the Makers of Finn Caspian

July 9, 2018

Finn Caspian is a human boy living in outer space.  He and his friends (both human and robot) have lots of incredible adventures across the galaxy in this serially-told podcast, but the big personality of the robot co-host steals the show. The show also has brilliant ways of incorporating listeners’ … 







A Piece of the Puzzle: How Media Can Support the Development of Empathy, Tolerance, and Prosocial Values in the Classroom

June 25, 2018

Last month, researchers AnneMarie McClain and Lacey Hilliard presented some exciting findings from a a study they conducted around classroom media and socio-emotional learning among elementary school students at the International Communication Association Conference in Prague. We invited them to share details of the project as well as the findings that … 







Podcasts for Families: Meet the Makers of The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel

June 4, 2018

When we first encountered The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel, I was a little nervous about sharing it with my 7-year-old since the recommended age range is 9-12.  The storyline and music score do make this story the most intense of any that we listen to, but my 7-year-old couldn’t get … 







New Report Helps STEM Advocates Make a Stronger Case for Informal Learning

May 29, 2018

Ask Americans where kids are learning the skills they’ll need to participate in the 21st-century workforce, and you’ll likely hear the same answer over and over again: home or school. That’s how most members of the U.S. public respond when asked about where learning takes place, according to the work … 







Research Suggests Well-Designed Preschool Apps Can Encourage Family Engagement and Self-Regulation

May 21, 2018

Researchers and practitioners have long known that when it comes to digital media for kids, quality is key. But what does it mean for a children’s app to be good or bad? How do specific features and design decisions affect the children who engage with them? If parents want to … 







Reflections on the 2018 AERA Annual Meeting

May 14, 2018

Just a few months after the publication of Children and Families in the Digital Age (Routledge, 2018), Alexia Raynal presented original and previously-published research from the Families and Media (FAM) Research Consortium at the 2018 American Education Research Association (AERA) annual meeting. In the following article, Alexia presents key highlights from her roundtable discussion on Equity and Learning … 







20+ Years of Research Shows Ready To Learn Media Improves Young Children’s Literacy

April 11, 2018

If you were born after 1990, are the parent or grandparent of someone born after 1990, or a children’s media producer of any age, Ready To Learn (RTL) has probably touched your life. Launched in 1994, RTL is a U.S. Department of Education-funded initiative that provides about $25 million annually …