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Check out what the Cooney Center staff are covering in the realm of digital kids’ learning. Do you have an idea you’d like to see covered? Let us know!

Podcast Transcript: The App Fairy Talks to Toca Boca

by Carissa Christner
September 14, 2018

This partial transcript of the App Fairy podcast has been edited for length and clarity.  Carissa Christner: Today I’m very excited to bring to you an interview with Caroline Ingeborn of Toca Boca. Toco Boca makes the very best play apps that I have seen anywhere, and if you have … 







Making the iPad a Friend – Instead of Foe – for Summer Reading

by Carly Shuler
August 15, 2018

It’s August. August? How did that happen? We are facing a new school year, which as a parent of a 6- and 8-year-old I am simultaneously saddened about (where has the time gone?) and relieved by (these kids need to get back to school!). As the end of summer approaches, … 







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

by Claire Christensen, Megan Silander, Tiffany Maxon, and Jaime Gutierrez
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

by Shayna Cook
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

by Maayan Eldar and Ashley Mannetta
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

by Carissa Christner
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

by AnneMarie McClain and Lacey Hilliard
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

by Carissa Christner
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

by Allison Stevens and Kevin Levay
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

by Alexis Hiniker, PhD
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 …