Explo Board of Trustees member Scott Traylor reunites with Joan Ganz Cooney, educational thought leader, Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, and one of the founders of "Sesame Street."
Joan Ganz Cooney is the founder of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, an "independent research and innovation lab that focuses on the challenges of educating children in a rapidly changing media landscape." Which makes sense, since she's also the brains behind one of the greatest educational programs in television history.
Sesame Street, created with a group of like-minded colleagues in 1969, has made an enduring impression on generations of young children in 140 countries, including Scott Traylor, both a member of Explo's Board of Trustees and founder of 360KID, an education-technology company that designs products aimed to teach as well as entertain.
Reuniting at a recent event at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, entitled "Educational Media Use in America: A Breakthrough Learning Forum," Traylor and Cooney bonded over their mutual desire to create educational materials that both embrace the tech age and capture the imaginations of growing young people everywhere.
One of the Cooney Center's latest studies, entitled "Learning at Home: Families’ Educational Media Use in America" — of which you can read Scott Traylor's review at kidscreen.com — is the first effort by the organization to "quantify, on a national basis, what portion of kids' screen time is devoted to educational content." Those screens include not just television, but also mobile, computer, and video games, and the findings determine how much educational media a child consumes at each developmental age, and what effect(s) that exposure (or lack thereof) might have on a child's educational and cognitive development.
But, as Traylor says, "the report forces us to consider many big, unanswered questions," such as, "As children grow, why do they engage less with educational media, yet consume more media at the same time?" Does "educational media use, which appears to have great benefit at an early age, lead to greater media consumption that is of less benefit to children as they age?"
Questions like these fuel our work and drive us to search for the most effective ways to engage our students. We're glad we can draw on the minds, research, and passion of such forward-thinking educational experts and leaders. (And work together to inspire feats of creativity and a renewed love of learning along the way.)