A challenge to parents: How much technology is good for their children?

September 21, 2014

The start of the school year brings many challenges to parents. A key concern is how much technology is effective and appropriate for young children, pre-school  through the early years of school?  There can be no conversation about how children learn the skills they need to become ready to learn to read without addressing the implications of the early use of technology.

No doubt, technology does enhance children’s education. The internet’s value as a research tool is unquestionably valuable but the concern becomes the over use of technology and how compatible child-friendly digital technologies are with the nature of childhood and the flowering of their intellect.

Parents want their children to achieve academic success and they often think technology is the way to success, when much of it is mindless entertainment. When technology is over used, unmanaged and unregulated, the results are serious.  Parents and children plugged into devices does NOT foster the type of interaction and stimulation children need in their early years to foster their communication skills. Children need plentiful opportunities to use and respond to the words they learn through play, informal talk, reading and responding to what is read.

Let me share a valuable piece of information that comes from the VP of the Kaiser Family Foundation “My impression is that parents really believe these videos and other gadgets are good for their children, or at the very least, not really bad for them,” “To me, the most important thing is reminding parents that getting down on the floor to play with children is the most educational thing they can do.”

What children need to be successful in school.

August 25, 2014

Talented teachers + engaged students +challenging curriculum = Success for all. To make this equation into a reality, children need devoted and caring adults to be successful in and out of school. As a new school year approaches, the conversation about what makes for good schools and good teachers begins. What do children actually need […]


Ongoing Dilemma: Which comes first: reading the book or seeing the movie?

August 14, 2014

I love the book The Giver but I feel ambivalent about it’s movie release on August 15. Since stories enter through the back door of our imaginations, they speak to our hearts and minds in very personal ways. I worry that if a person sees the movie before they read the book, they will know […]


Diane comments in NYT:We often find what we need in the stories we read.

July 22, 2014

I am working with a young woman who never ceases to amaze me with her capacity to feel and act compassionately toward others. And I am also struck on how hard this woman is on herself, with standards she would never inflict on others. My hope was that through the compassion she felt for the […]


A story within a story—the magic of coincidences.

July 14, 2014

I recently had the pleasure of presenting my Conversational Reading approach to a statewide group of CT Librarians. This was a dream come true audience for me since it satisfied a long held fantasy of mine—to know something about what people in my audiences actually do with the ideas I present. As part of the […]


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