Category Archives: Commentary

Tapping the Magic of Childhood to Design Playful STEAM Experiences

by Rosanna Lopez
April 5, 2019

The experience of childhood During the initial phase of onboarding and professional development exercises with the SparkleLAB team, we spend a good part of our time remembering the experience of childhood. Growing up in the Philippines in the 80’s and 90’s, my fondest childhood memories are those of the rainy … 







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Hello, World

by Michael Preston, PhD
March 19, 2019

I’m deeply honored to join the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, an organization widely recognized for its work to advance learning for kids, educators, and families of all backgrounds. In 1966, Joan Ganz Cooney and her colleagues were determined to harness the power of television to address literacy … 







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VR and AR for Children: The Eyes of the Next Generation

by Jesse Schell
March 5, 2019

Before the Future of Childhood: Immersive Media and Child Development salon took place in November 2018, we invited experts to share their visions about the ways VR and AR might impact childhood 10 years from now. Jesse Schell is the CEO of Schell Games, the largest full-service education and entertainment game development company … 







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Intentional Design for Digital Inclusion: Developing Energetic Alpha for Preschoolers

by Marianne Martens, Ph.D. and Gretchen Caldwell Rinnert, M.G.D.
February 28, 2019

Children’s literature is not known for its diversity—either in terms of diverse characters within books, diverse authors and illustrators, or diverse staff within the publishing industry. Nancy Larrick’s famous article, “The All White World of Children’s Books,” was published in 1965, and sadly, the situation is not that different today. … 







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How Will VR and AR Shape Childhood in 10 Years?

by Jeremy Bailenson, PhD
February 12, 2019

Before the Future of Childhood: Immersive Media and Child Development salon took place in November 2018, we invited experts to share their visions about the ways VR and AR might impact childhood 10 years from now. Jeremy Bailenson, PhD, is the founding director of Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab and … 







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What’s Past is Prologue: A Review of The New Childhood

by Paul Darvasi
January 30, 2019

I must confess, I’d never given much thought to the origin of sandboxes. I played in them, my kids play in them, and so I just assumed that children have been building crumbling castles and holes to China since time immemorial. After reading Jordan Shapiro’s The New Childhood: Raising Kids … 







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Modern Family Life Should Include Opportunities to Connect Through Digital Play

by Jordan Shapiro
January 16, 2019

So many of today’s parents complain that their children spend too much time staring at “addictive screens.” According to the grownups, kids never want to do anything else and therefore, they’re losing out on the real joy of childhood. But the statistics tell a different story. On average, today’s kids … 







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A Vision for VR in Classrooms in 10 Years

by Lisa Castaneda
January 9, 2019

Before the Future of Childhood: Immersive Media and Child Development salon took place in November 2018, we invited experts to share their visions about the ways VR and AR might impact childhood 10 years from now. Lisa Castaneda, Co-Founder and CEO of foundry10, shares an optimistic view of VR’s potential … 







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Reflections on the 2018 AERA Annual Meeting

by Alexia Raynal
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 … 







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What Does the Research Say About Tech and Kids’ Learning? Part 2 of 2

by Michael H. Levine, Ph.D.
April 30, 2018

In January 2018, Michael Levine participated in a panel conversation on young children’s media use hosted by Common Sense Media and the Brooklyn Public Library. Here, in the second of a two-part series, are some of his comments regarding the Common Sense Census: Media Use by Kids Zero to Eight report. (See … 







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