Noah! Welcome to the Digital World, Baby! (PBS Early Learning)

June 16, 2010 Personal post today to welcome (in over 325 languages) Shaping Youth advisory board member Dr. Robyn Silverman’s new son into the world of global digital citizenship.

Born: Mr. Noah Stone Silverman today at 8:25am – 7lbs 4oz. – 19” already making his premiere on Facebook, Twitter and Shaping Youth!

What does this have to do with media and marketing’s impact on kids? Plenty. For starters, the very way we communicate has uncorked new conversations in digital connectivity.

It’s uplifting, heartening, and downright astounding to see how this ‘brave new world’ has transitioned to be  the digital womb for birthing new relationships, familial bonds and lifelong ties that bind.

Whether it’s the ability to find ‘half brothers and half sisters’ via the voluntary Donor Sibling Registry, important medical and research advances for special needs children or the information silo funneling domestic and worldwide open adoptions into the digital sphere for life-changing actions, the terra firma has shifted forevermore.

Let’s not forget the simple but vital support provided to new parents able to tap communities and resources to create a collective knowledge pool on everything from baby’s first years to the ‘What Works’ Clearinghouse of scientific evidence for what works in education. Yep, the digital baby sphere goes far beyond mommyblogger preferences of gear and gizmos, this is early childhood research in the making, shifting as we speak.

I’m thrilled to welcome Noah into the world, not only because I adore and respect my dear colleague and advisory gal pal Dr. Robyn, but because with his birth comes the profound knowledge that as humanists we have the privilege and responsibility to shape his life experience in a positive way…

…From socioemotional learning to the digital dawn of a new generation who will no doubt use media tools in an entirely different educational canvas to paint the landscape of the future…Noah represents us all.

Tomorrow I’ll be attending the KQED/pbs Media and Early Learning symposium focusing on ages zero-five with leaders in emerging technologies and child development informing the dialog of media’s promises, policies, privacy and yes, perils…

What will this conversation even look like as Noah grows into his pre-K years?

At the symposium we’ll no doubt discuss the role of public service media, and the bounty of FREE resources like PBS Kids’ Raising Readers Initiative to help level the learning field.

I’m sure we’ll also peel the onion on layered learning that ranges from avoiding the ‘electronic pacifier’ (AAP’s policy= no screen time under 2) to those who want to engage and enrich using techno tools for adults without chasing shiny objects that end up resulting in a ‘wean to the screen’ early childhood dynamic.

How will digital citizenship and kids digital ethics shape early learning as kids segue from preschool to kindergarten with hefty expectations of ‘closing the achievement gap’ on a global scale?

Who will take the lead as the watchdog for public health and children’s well-being to make certain the wave of new media doesn’t flood the classroom, but instead lap at the shores with fun, engaging whimsy by training teachers how to use kidvid as a mirroring device to playback learning progress (for the children or for themselves!)

When will we see eco-literacy legislation like No Child Left INSIDE open the floodgates of nature and nurture in the great outdoors to bring science, humanities, and tactile probing into experiential learning?

What will these “Field Notes from the Future” look like?

Will we be raising ‘techno-naturalists? Forming offline to online bridges and vice-versa like Richard Louv’s Nature Rocks?

How long before we can hope to see media literacy mandated in early learning to reflect the digital world these kids will grow up in so they can navigate the messaging and control their own outcomes?

These are all open-ended research and STEM questions that beg for mindfulness with any integration…

No one wants to lose storytelling, lap time, music and human connection to cram curriculum and ‘reading readiness’ into wee ones when open-ended play can sow vital seeds of empathy and discovery that ground kids with deep roots for lifelong learning successes.

As Noah Stone Silverman begins to crawl, then toddle into the early years of new media’s bright beginnings, let’s shine some light on the bold possibilities of creative, collaborative learning both online and off…

Welcome to the world, Noah, your digital footprint has already made quite a mark on our ‘actionist’ community, reminding us all why we’re so dedicated to doing the work that we do. Congratulations Jason, Robyn & Tallie…

Can’t wait to hear what this amazing guest panel of public service media honchos has to say…It will be archived on the PBS Education Network site after the symposium.

Related Resources From PBS Education Network

KQED/KTEH Media and Early Learning Symposium Agenda
Symposium Panelists Bios

Web Resources
(Word Doc)

Media, Technology & Young Children Articles, Reports (PDFs)

ABCs of Media Literacy—What Can Preschoolers Learn-Rogow
Children, Digital Media & Our Nation’s Future
Common Myths of Computer Use in Early Years
Funding Technology—Does It Make Sense
Literacy and Learning in a New Media Age
Media and Young Children’s Learning
Pockets of Potential Using Mobile Technologies to Promote Children’s Learning
Screen Smart Tips for Families
Technology & Young Children—Story Telling-Blagojevic
Technology and Young Children NAEYC Position Paper
The Digital World of Young Children—Pearson Report
TV Under Two-Rogow
Using Media-Rich Curricula in Preschool Classrooms

PBS Ready To Learn Articles & Reports

Guide to PBS Kids Island
PBS Children & Media Benchmark Study-Cohen

PBS CPB RTL Overview and Grant Info—Symposium

PBS KIDS PBS KIDS GO! Children Now Release

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