March 6, 2008

INTERVIEWS: Dr. Michael Levine On Children in the Digital Age

Dr. Michael Levine On Children in the Digital Age
March 4th, 2008

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center takes children’s programming very seriously. Whether it’s going back to its roots where Sesame Street paved the way in children’s programming, or whether it’s in the research showing how to best educate our children, the people at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center show that they not only have smarts, they really care. The Center’s Executive Director, Michael Levine, PhD, took a few minutes to share with us the impact of media in this digital age, especially in regards to their research in “D is for Digital.”

CP: According to the press release, a major part of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center will be to see how interactive technologies can be utilized to help accelerate children’s learning. In your opinion, are we going to hit a point soon where children who do not have access to the technology in their pre-school years will be at a disadvantage. Please explain why this is an issue or not.

ML: Children in the pre-school years will, over time, like their older peers, be influenced deeply by the ubiquity of interactive technologies in their homes and communities. Whether it is how they will learn their first letters, or math concepts, or be introduced to relatives living in remote places around the globe, most children will begin to listen, talk, and learn in a new media environment beginning shortly after they are born. That does not mean, however, that pre-school youngsters who have limited access to technology will be disadvantaged in any fundamental way, so long as they have the basic elements to grow and develop the affinity for learning all that the world will one day offer. Young children today need the loving support of their parents and caregivers, consistent relationships of intense love and practical support, and the ability to explore diverse types of safe experiences with regularity and purpose.

full interview

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