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Getting Schooled by a Third Grader

What Kids’ Gaming, Tweeting, Streaming and Sharing Tells us About the Future of Elementary Education

Kids love video games. And iPads. And even Twitter. But what can they learn from high-tech tools—and, perhaps more importantly, can the ways they use technology give us insight as to how they learn?

Those were the guiding questions at this Future Tense event on technology in early education. During the introduction, New America Foundation fellow Lisa Guernsey, author of Screen Time: How Electronic Media—From Baby Videos to Educational Software—Affects Your Child, noted that we frequently think of educational technology as the realm of middle or high school. But research currently suggests that children between the ages of 6 months and 6 years spend an average of 120 minutes a day with screens. Meanwhile, teachers—and companies producing educational software and games—are increasingly bringing technology into the classroom to appeal to kids who enter kindergarten already familiar with iPads, smartphones, and Microsoft Kinect.

Guernsey was joined by the Joel Levin, a private school teacher from New York City who is creating educational versions of the blockbuster game Minecraft; Alice Wilder, co-creator and head of research and education for Super Why! on PBS; and Annie Murphy Paul, another New America fellow and author of Origins and the forthcoming Brilliant. Scott Traylor, founder of 360Kid, joined us via a prerecorded Skype interview.

To continue reading the entire report from this event by Future Tense Editor Torie Bosch, please click here.


Featured Speakers
Joel Levin@MinecraftTeachr
“The Minecraft Teacher,” Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School
Co-owner of TeacherGaming, makers of MinecraftEdu

Annie Murphy Paul@AnnieMurphyPaul
2013 Bernard L. Schwartz Fellow, New America Foundation
Author of Brilliant: The New Science of Smart (available 2013)

Scott Traylor (via Skype) – @360KID
Founder of 360KID

Alice Wilder@alicewilder
Co-Creator and Head of Research and Education for “Super Why!” on PBS

Lisa Guernsey @LisaGuernsey
Director, Early Education Initiative, New America Foundation
Author, Screen Time: How Electronic Media—From Baby Videos to Educational Software—Affects Your Young Child

Event Time and Location

Thursday, August 9, 2012 - 12:00pm - 1:30pm
New America Foundation
1899 L Street NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036

Event Photos

Click here to view these photos.
A range of photos from this event are available on Flickr. Click on the icon at left to view or download the photos.