Category Archives: Commentary

Wiring Up

“Let the learning flow!” (…and other proven framing strategies)

by Jessica Moyer
January 8, 2020

To get people thinking differently about the importance of connecting STEM learning environments, and to increase public engagement in the issue, we need to start talking differently. Empirically tested strategies for how to do this are presented in a free, user-friendly communications toolkit called Wiring Up: Strategies for Talking about Connecting … 







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A Blueprint for the Future

by Michael Levine, PhD and Michael Preston, PhD
January 6, 2020

The Potential Uses of Television in Preschool Education provided a rationale, initial research base, and blueprint for the Children’s Television Workshop, now known as Sesame Workshop. Joan Ganz Cooney envisioned a program with such broad appeal that it would reach all children, especially those living in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Sesame Street … 







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The Power of an Idea

by Vartan Gregorian
December 18, 2019

In the annals of American philanthropy, the most successful endeavors usually come out of a confluence of vision, expertise, and financial support. This is the case in the development of the world’s most beloved educational television program, Sesame Street. It was Joan Ganz Cooney who came up with the revolutionary … 







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Carrying a Vision Forward

by Jeffrey D. Dunn
December 15, 2019

When Joan Ganz Cooney began her study, I don’t think she could have imagined that the path she started down would one day become the longest street in the world. Her 1966 report is much more than a treasured heirloom in the Sesame family. In many ways, it’s our sacred … 







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A Timely Experiment in Television and Education

by Lloyd Morrisett
December 10, 2019

In the spring of 1966, Joan Cooney completed her landmark study of television and early education for the Carnegie Corporation. It was entitled The Potential Uses of Television in Preschool Education. The 1960s created a climate for social change and encouraged people to seek it. Television had become the medium … 







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A Letter from Joan Ganz Cooney

by Joan Ganz Cooney
December 9, 2019

You may have heard that television programming in the 1960s was called a “vast wasteland.” by then-FCC Chairman Newton Minow. From the beginning, Lloyd Morrisett and I were both convinced that television – which was capturing the attention of children as nothing else was – did have the power to … 







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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 … 







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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 … 







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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 … 







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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 … 







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