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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!

Love Letters for Computers

by Linda Liukas
November 15, 2019

I fell in love the moment my dad brought our first clunky computer home. Like many other children who grew up in the 1990s, I grew up using computers to write stories and explore the Internet. The term “computer science” conjured a dark cloak of mystery, with a hoodie, or … 







Can Public Media Level the Playing Field for All Kids?

by Catherine Jhee
November 5, 2019

When Sesame Street first went on the air in 1969, it was part of a movement to help public media reshape what then-FCC Chairman Newton Minow called “the vast wasteland” of programming. Today, more children have access to their own smartphones and tablets than ever before, and almost any kind … 







Alexa, Let’s Work on Your Communication Skills

by Erin Beneteau
October 21, 2019

As a speech-language pathologist, I am fascinated with how humans and voice interfaces (such as Amazon’s Echo, “Alexa”) communicate with each other. I was fortunate to be a member of a research team based at the University of Washington, in which we recruited 10 diverse families to incorporate an Amazon … 







Powerful Ideas About Young Children and Technology: Thoughts from Thought Leaders

by Chip Donohue
October 15, 2019

Let me set the scene. You’ve been invited to a roundtable conversation with 17 international thought leaders working at the intersection of child development, early learning and children’s media. As you look around the table, you see influential early childhood educators, researchers, academics, pediatricians, children’s media producers, advocates and policy … 







Ruff Family Science: Using Media to Support Multi-Generational Science Learning

by Lisa Hamanaka Ellsworth
October 9, 2019

Asha and her 6-year-old daughter, Zara, take deep breaths and blow onto the sails of their sail cars. The cars roll away…quickly at first before slowing to a stop. Zara cheers and exclaims, “I won! Mine went farthest!” Asha agrees and asks, “What was your prediction?” Zara reflects and grabs … 







mother with girl at computer

Fostering Girls’ Motivation to Pursue Digital Opportunities

by Allison Fine Mishkin
September 12, 2019

Young adults face many options when they go online—they might learn a new skill or lurk on a Discord channel; make a new friend or mock an existing one; create content or consume it. My research focuses on why young women choose to pursue positive opportunities new technology offers instead … 







What Kids Need from VR and AR Designers

by Sam Bindman and Kiley Sobel
August 19, 2019

On June 15, 2019, we—along with the JGCC’s Deputy Director and Head of Research Lori Takeuchi and foundry10’s Co-founder and CEO Lisa Castaneda—convened a group of experts at the Interaction Design and Children (IDC) conference in Boise, Idaho to participate in a one-day workshop on kids and immersive media.  At … 







What Will it Take for Virtual Reality to Become Education’s Next Big Reality?

by Catherine Jhee
August 13, 2019

At the XR for Change Summit in New York City in June 2019, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center hosted a cross-disciplinary panel of experts to discuss the potential impact and pitfalls of virtual reality (VR) in the classroom. Michael Preston, the Cooney Center’s executive director, kicked off the session with … 







What Makes Technology Creepy?

by Jason Yip, PhD
August 6, 2019

Growing up in the 1980’s, I played with a lot of toys and technology. My first experience with a computer was an Apple IIe at school, where I played Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. At home, my technology-enabled toys consisted of a Speak and Spell that would repeat … 







Sharing Molly of Denali with Families in Alaska

by Claudia Haines
August 1, 2019

Youth Services Librarian Claudia Haines recently hosted a family screening of the new PBS Kids show Molly of Denali at Homer Public Library in Homer, Alaska. This post from her blog is republished here with permission.   I’m always looking for media, in all formats, that authentically reflects Alaskan families’ experiences. …