The Joan Ganz Cooney Center
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center (informally, the Cooney Center) is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan research and innovation group founded by Sesame Workshop in order to advance children’s literacy skills and foster innovation in children’s learning through digital media.
- 1 Background
- 2 Activities
- 3 Reports
- 4 Initiatives
- 5 People at the Cooney Center
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center was founded in 2007 to study the role of digital technologies in promoting childhood literacy particularly among elementary school age children. According to the organization's mission statement, the Cooney Center exists "to advance children’s literacy skills and foster innovation in children’s learning through digital media."
The Cooney Center focuses on research, new technologies, and catalyzing policy change. Its activities comprise three primary themes:
- Games and Learning: The Cooney Center has released and contributed to a number of reports and surveys on the connection between games and learning. In 2009, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Cooney Center published Game Changer: Investing in Digital Play to Advance Learning and Health, which was used in a 2011 testimony to the United States House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. In 2010, the center offered a prize to top innovators in the field of children's digital learning and in 2011, the Cooney Center organized the first annual National STEM Video Game Competition. More recently, in February 2014, the Cooney Center launched GamesandLearning.org, a news site reporting on the latest in the field of educational gaming.
- Learning Together: The Cooney Center is the convener of the Families and Media Research Consortium, which also includes as members AARP, Sesame Workshop, Northwestern University, Arizona State University, and Stanford University. As part of the Families and Media Project, the consortium is releasing a series of reports, the first of which was released on January 24, 2014 by the Cooney Center. For Learning at Home: Families' Educational Media Use in America, the Cooney Center collected data from parents of young children encompassing a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds in order to assess "the new family media ecology that is shaping interactions in every community in the U.S. and around the globe." The report garnered major media attention.
- Literacy by Ten: The Cooney Center co-authored Pioneering Literacy in the Digital Wild West: Empowering Parents and Educators, a 2012 report that has been used by literacy researchers from Stanford University and others around the globe. It was the result of a partnership with the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, led by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, to develop analyses and an action plan to raise literacy rates in America. In 2013, the Cooney Center partnered with the National Center for Families Learning (formerly the National Center for Family Literacy) to form the Aprendiendo Juntos Council, which focuses on improving literacy rates among Spanish-speaking American children.
The Cooney Center also hosts periodic events aimed at catalyzing policy and industry change. The 2009 Leadership Forum: Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age, hosted at the Googleplex, attracted more than 200 thought leaders from the research, policy, education, and industries. In 2011, the Cooney Center hosted its annual leadership forum focusing on scaling up effective models that support children's learning with an emphasis on harnessing the largely untapped potential of digital media, especially for struggling learners. Learning From Hollywood: Can Entertainment Media Ignite a Digital Revolution? brought together leaders from the creative media industries, education, research, policy, and philanthropy. Recent research publications on the potential of video games and mobile platforms for children's learning have received wide attention in the media and among national and state policymakers.
The Cooney Center disseminates research that informs national debates, with the intention of "stimulating investment in effective reforms." It does so through its publications on timely topics, including the children’s fast evolving, interactive media landscape, mobile learning, and the debates over media multitasking. The Cooney Center’s inaugural report was The Power of Pow! Wham!: Children, Digital Media and Our Nation's Future by Rima Shore, Ph.D.
At the beginning of 2014, the Cooney Center hosted a release event for the report Learning at Home: Families' Educational Media Use in America. For this national survey, data was collected from 1,577 parents on the amount of media used in their home and its educational value. "What is more, the study, by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center," reported the New York Times, "shows that as children spend more time with screens as they get older, they spend less time doing educational activities, with 8- to 10-year-olds spending about half the time with educational content that 2- to 4-year-olds do."
- Learning at Home: Families' Educational Media Use in America by Victoria Rideout. (2014)
- Games for a Digital Age: K-12 Market Map and Investment Analysis by John Richards, Leslie Stebbins and Kurt Moellering. (2013)
- Pioneering Literacy in the Digital Wild West: Empowering Parents and Educators by Lisa Guernsey, Michael H. Levine, Cynthia Chiong & Maggie Stevens. (2012)
- Kids Online: A new research agenda for understanding social networking forums by Sara Grimes and Deborah Fields. (2012)
- What in the World Happened to Carmen Sandiego? The Edutainment Era: Debunking Myths and Sharing Lessons Learned by Carly Shuler. (2012)
- National Survey and Video Case Studies: Teacher Attitudes about Digital Games in the Classroom by Jessica Millstone. (2012)
- iLearn II: An Analysis of the Education Category on Apple’s App Store by Carly Shuler. (2012)
- The New Coviewing: Designing for Learning through Joint Media Engagement by Lori Takeuchi and Reed Stevens. (2011)
- Take a Giant Step: A Blueprint for Teaching Young Children in a Digital Age by Brigid Barron, et al. (2011)
- Families Matter: Designing Media for a Digital Age by Lori Takeuchi. (2011)
- Always Connected: The new digital media habits of young children by Aviva Lucas Gutnick, Michael Robb, Lori Takeuchi and Jennifer Kotler. (2011)
- Learning: Is there an app for that? by Cynthia Chiong & Carly Shuler. (2010)
- Can Video Games Promote Intergenerational Play & Literacy Learning? by Cynthia Chiong Ph.D. (2010)
- The Impacts of Media Multitasking on Children’s Learning & Development by Claudia Wallis. (2010)
- iLearn: A Content Analysis of the iTunes App Store's Education Section by Carly Shuler, Ed.M. (2010)
- Game Changer: Investing in Digital Play to Advance Children's Learning and Health by Ann My Thai et al. (2010)
- Pockets of Potential: Using Mobile Technologies to Promote Children's Learning by Carly Shuler, Ed.M. (2010)
- Getting Over the Slump: Innovation Strategies to Promote Children's Learning by James Paul Gee, Ph.D. (2010)
The Cooney Center focuses on four key strategies: action research, innovation and model development, partnership building and dissemination. These strategies reflect the Center's field-building mission, which calls for the creation of new knowledge, the creative application of that knowledge in practice, and the engagement of key decision-makers in making investments to drive innovation and scale up what works.
STEM National Video Game Competition
The Cooney Center, in collaboration with E-Line Media, hosts the National STEM Video Game Challenge as part of the "Educate to Innovate" campaign, which President Barack Obama launched in November 2009 to “harness the excitement and educational potential of video games to advance STEM learning (science, technology, engineering, and math)."
Cooney Center Fellows Program
Cooney Center Fellows assist with high priority research, program development and dissemination activities that examine the potential and challenges associated with digital media applications in promoting children's learning and healthy development. In addition, the Center has established a research fund to help support priority areas.
Digital Age Teacher Preparation Council
The Cooney Center, in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute, convened a Digital Age Teacher Preparation Council, co-chaired by Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University and Michael Levine. The council's sixteen members from academia, industry, and policy assessed current practices in early education and elementary school teaching and designed a professional development "blueprint" to advance the use of effective digital media in teaching and learning, with a special emphasis on instruction for underserved students. The final report was issued on November 1, 2011.
People at the Cooney Center
- Joan Ganz Cooney, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Sesame Workshop
- Lloyd N. Morrisett, Chairman Emeritus of the Board, Sesame Workshop
- Gary E. Knell Former President and CEO, Sesame Workshop, Current CEO, National Geographic Society
- Michael H. Levine, Ph.D., Executive Director
- Lori Takeuchi, Ph.D., Director of Research
- Michelle Miller, Director of Partnerships and Strategy
- Catherine Jhee, Director of Web and Strategic Communications
National Advisory Board
- Sandra Calvert, Ph. D., Chair and Professor of the Department of Psychology at Georgetown University and the Director of the Children's Digital Media Center
- Milton Chen, Ph. D., Senior Fellow The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GELF)
- Josh Cohen, Managing Partner at City Light Capital
- Stephen deBerry, partner at Kapor Capital
- Allison Druin, Ph. D., Director of the Human-Computer Interaction Lab and Associate Professor in the University of Maryland's College of Information Studies
- James Paul Gee, Ph. D., Mary Lou Fulton Presidential Professor of Literacy Studies at Arizona State University
- Alan Gershenfeld, Founder and President of E-Line Media
- Sharon Lynn Kagan, Ph. D., Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family Policy, Co-Director of the National Center for Children and Families, and Associate Dean for Policy at Teachers College, Columbia University, and Professor Adjunct at Yale University's Child Study Center.
- Nichole Pinkard, Ph. D., Associate Professor in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University in Chicago
- Delia Pompa Ph. D., Senior Vice President for Education at the National Council of La Raza
- Linda G. Roberts, Ed. D., Former director of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology
- Robert Slavin, Director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University.
- Marshal (Mike) S. Smith, former Program Director for Education at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
- Megan Smith, Vice President, New Business Development and General Manager of Google.org.
- Vivien Stewart, Senior Fellow at Asia Society
- Andrea L. Taylor, Director for North America Community Affairs for Microsoft Corporation
- Ellen Ann Wartella, Ph.D. Professor of Communication Studies and of Psychology at Northwestern University
- Jensen, Elizabeth (6 December 2007). "Institute Named for 'Sesame' Creator". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
- "Cooney Center: Our Mission".
- Thai, Ann My (2009). Game Changer: Investing in Digital Play to Advance Learning and Health. New York: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center.
- Gallagher, Michael. "STEM in Action: Inspiring the Science and Engineering Workforce of Tomorrow". Retrieved 18 February 2014.
- Wan, Tony (11 February 2014). "Helping Game Developers Tackle the Toughest Game". EdSurge. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
- Learning at Home: Families' Educational Media Use in America. 2014-01-24.
- "Screen Time Study Finds Education Dropoff".
- Toppo, Greg (24 January 2014). "First-of-its-kind survey finds kids spend 8x as much time with educational TV as computers". USA Today. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- King, Ceco;oa (24 January 2014). "2- to 4-year-olds are most frequent users of educational media, study finds". The Washington Post. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- Pioneering Literacy in the Digital Wild West: Empowering Parents and Educators.
- Lee, Lai-Chung; Whei-Jane Wei (March 2013). "Child-Computer Interaction Design and Its Effectiveness". Research & Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning 8 (1): 15. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- Diaz, Shelley (11 July 2013). "Learning Together: New Council to Study Latino Families’ Digital Media Use". The School Library Journal. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- "Breakthrough Learning in the Digital Age".
- Rosenworcel, Jessica. "Remarks of Jessica Rosenworcel to the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop". FCC Website. FCC. Retrieved 21 February 2014.
- "Cooney Center Reports".
- ("Learning at Home: Families' Educational Media Use in America".)
- "Games for a Digital Age: K-12 Market Map and Investment Analysis".
- "Pioneering Literacy in the Digital Wild West: Empowering Parents and Educators".
- "Kids Online: A new research agenda for understanding social networking forums".
- "What in the World Happened to Carmen Sandiego? The Edutainment Era: Debunking Myths and Sharing Lessons Learned".
- "National Survey and Video Case Studies: Teacher Attitudes about Digital Games in the Classroom".
- "iLearn II: An Analysis of the Education Category on Apple’s App Store".
- "The New Coviewing: Designing for Learning through Joint Media Engagement".
- "Take a Giant Step: A Blueprint for Teaching Young Children in a Digital Age".
- "Families Matter: Designing Media for a Digital Age".
- "Always Connected: The new digital media habits of young children".
- "Learning: Is there an app for that?".
- "Can Video Games Promote Intergenerational Play & Literacy Learning?".
- "The Impacts of Media Multitasking on Children’s Learning & Development".
- "iLearn: A Content Analysis of the iTunes App Store's Education Section".
- "Game Changer: Investing in Digital Play to Advance Children's Learning and Health".
- "Pockets of Potential: Using Mobile Technologies to Promote Children's Learning".
- "Getting Over the Slump: Innovation Strategies to Promote Children's Learning".
- "Educate to Innovate".
- Barron, Brigid (1 November 2011). Take a Giant Step: The Blueprint for Teaching Young Children in a Digital Age. New York, NY: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and Stanford University.
- New York Times, 1/24/2014, "The Younger the Child, The More Educational the Screen. Maybe."
- The Joan Ganz Cooney Center's Website
- The Joan Ganz Cooney Center's Twitter Feed
- The Joan Ganz Cooney Center's YouTube Page
- The Cooney Center Prizes Facebook Page
- Cooney Center Reports
- Cooney Center Initiatives
- Cooney Center Press Room
- Cooney Center Events
- Cooney Center People
- Education Week, 9/17/2008 "Let's Get Over the Slump"
- New York Times, 12/6/2007, "Institute Named for ‘Sesame’ Creator"