Category Archives: Commentary

Life After a Cooney Center Research Fellowship

Editor’s Note: Want to join the Joan Ganz Cooney Center team? Apply to be the 2016-2017 Cooney Center Fellow! We are accepting fellowship applications now through April 4, 2016. We’ve all been there many times: “go around the table and introduce yourselves.”  There are certain times in our lives when this happens at an extremely frequent rate: the first weeks […]


Augmented Reality: The What-If Game

Most of us have had experiences playing with traditional playsets. In fact, many of us have fond memories and attachments to particular figurines or characters. Reminiscing about these experiences may bring up memories of your childhood imagination, your love to create stories and explore imaginary worlds, or even a desire to share these experiences with […]

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A Matter of App: A New Website Rating Kids’ Apps

Cynthia Chong is an educational media researcher whose research focuses on how the design of educational media can affect young children’s learning and the way they interact with them, as well as how parents and teachers use these technologies to teach. She recently began reviewing educational apps for 3- to 8-year-olds on her blog, A […]

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An Empirical Wish-list

For the second year in a row, the iPad is the most popular item that children are asking for as a holiday gift.  Given that it is the season for making wish-lists, it is in this spirit that I offer my own iPad research wish-list for 2012. The items on this list will surely keep […]

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Bringing Speech Recognition to Reading Instruction

Marilyn Jager Adams’s report, “Technology for Developing Children’s Language and Literacy: Bringing Speech Recognition to the Classroom,” was released this fall by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. This commentary was recently published by Education Week.   As everyone who follows such things knows, U.S. students, as a group, do not read very well. Yet, if […]

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Inventing (Playful) Invention: Four Steps to Designing Toys for Creative Play

Picture for a second the first thing you ever constructed, designed, prototyped, or invented. If you’re like most of us, there’s a pretty good chance that you built your idea using toys like LEGOs, Play-Doh, Lincoln Logs, or perhaps, to your parents’ dismay, a mix of all of the above (good luck getting Play-Doh out […]

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Policy Brief: The Digital Teachers Corps: Closing Americas Literacy Gap

The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) has just published a policy brief authored by Michael Levine, the executive director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, and James Paul Gee, the Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies at Arizona State University. Reed an excerpt of the brief below and download the full PDF here.   […]

Education Tech: Its a Whole New Game

This interview with Michael Levine originally appeared in Literacy 2.0 in August, 2011. It appears here with the permission of the author, Robert L. Lindstrom.   In 2007, the year the iPhone was introduced, the venerable children’s TV programmer Children’s Television Workshop (now named Sesame Workshop) spun off a nonprofit research and production institute intended […]

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Sesame Workshop and 9/11

“There was a lot of emotion around 9/11, but of course there was no clear path on what to do with this.  But we had this show, this incredible entryway into homes that had credibility amongst parents and children.  How could we best use it?” -Dr. Lewis Bernstein, Executive Vice President of Education and Research […]

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Gaming Ed Reform?

This post originally appeared on the Education Nation Learning Curve Blog. Last week, President Obama announced an innovation and competitiveness initiative designed to stimulate children’s interest in math and science careers. It was filled with solid ideas for engaging both struggling and advanced students in rigorous and relevant science and math study, but fell short […]