In this talk, Dr. Penuel will take up a controversial topic in early childhood education - namely the role digital media can and should play in early learning. Evidence will be presented from research that digital media can benefit preschool-aged youth in ways that can improve early literacy and mathematics learning. Dr. Penuel will also describe some current efforts to integrate emerging technologies into early learning settings and into the practice of coaching of preschool teachers.
Bill Penuel is professor in educational psychology and the learning sciences. His research focuses on teacher learning and organizational processes that shape the implementation of educational policies, school curricula, and afterschool programs. In his research, he examines learning and development from sociocultural, social capital, and complex social systems perspectives. One strand of his research focuses on designs for teacher professional development in Earth science education. A second strand examines the role of research-practice partnerships in designing supports for teacher learning in school districts. A third strand examines how children's interest in science develops over time and across different kinds of settings. This third strand includes a focus on young children's learning through digital media, including public television programs. His research has appeared in the American Educational Research Journal, Teachers College Record, the American Journal of Evaluation, Science Education, and the Journal of the Learning Sciences.
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