Category Archives: Guest Posts

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, … 







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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 … 







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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’ … 







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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 … 







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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 … 







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

by Lisa Hurwitz
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 … 







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Fostering Family Learning with Video Games

by Sinem Siyahhan
April 2, 2018

“For me, my kids playing Halo is no different than playing outside and coming up with scenarios that seem kind of violent like our kids… they could be outside playing Nerf guns and pretending to shoot each other and die. I can go outside and play Nerf guns with my … 







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Podcasts for Families: Meet the Makers of Eleanor Amplified

by Carissa Christner
January 29, 2018

Are you looking for some good podcasts for children? We’re thrilled to introduce Podcasts for Families, a new series by Carissa Christner, a youth services librarian in Madison, Wisconsin. You’ll meet the producers of some of the liveliest podcasts for kids and learn more about the craft of creating engaging audio … 







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From Innovative Ideas to Igniting Implementation

by Jerry Wayne Newson
January 24, 2018

Necessity is the mother of invention. When Mind Meets Music was awarded an Arts Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) grant through the United States Department of Education in 2014, one of the grant requirements was to utilize technology as a vehicle to support learning. This mandate sparked an idea, … 







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Media Literacy in Storytime

by Claudia Haines
November 7, 2017

This week, libraries, schools, and organizations across the country are highlighting the importance of media literacy. Regardless of the type of media, children and adults need to be savvy consumers. According to NAMLE, media literacy is defined as “the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and act using all forms … 







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