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Michael Levine
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Michael H. Levine is the founding director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, an action research and innovation institute devoted to harnessing the potential of digital media to advance young children's learning and development. Previously, Dr. Levine oversaw Carnegie Corporation of New York's groundbreaking work in early childhood development, educational media and primary grades reform, and was a senior advisor to the New York City Schools Chancellor, where he directed dropout prevention, afterschool and early childhood initiatives. Dr. Levine is a frequent adviser to the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and regularly appears in the media. He was named by Working Mother magazine as one of America's most influential leaders in shaping family and children's policy and serves on numerous nonprofit boards and advisory councils, including We Are Family Foundation, the Forum for Youth Investment and Teach For America

Entries by Michael Levine

Connecting to Learn: Creating Digital Opportunities for Hispanic-American Families

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 10:29 AM

According to the 2010 Census, the number of Hispanic students in American schools has doubled to nearly 12.9 million since 1997. And this school year, America's school children are represented for the first time by a "majority-minority" as the population of young Hispanic and Asian students continues to...

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Ten for '15: Looking Back and Forging Ahead

(2) Comments | Posted January 5, 2015 | 2:45 PM

It's that time again. New commitments and new resolutions to make...and hopefully keep. As educators and children's advocates we are involved in many initiatives whose goals are reimagining education and providing equal opportunity to all children. We are board members or advisors of some nonprofits that are doing remarkable work...

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Playful Learning and Rigorous Assessment: Can We Level-Up the Common Core?

(0) Comments | Posted July 22, 2014 | 9:22 PM

According to a recent New York Times piece that has stirred a highly emotional debate among my many colleagues, parents across the U.S. who once felt confident helping their children with homework until high school are now feeling helpless when confronted with their first-graders' Common Core-aligned work sheets....

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Learning at Home: Can Educational Media Jump-Start Learning in America?

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 8:27 AM

Millions of American children received tablets, mobile phones, game consoles, and other screen devices over the holidays, making our youngest citizens an important force in media and technology consumption. At the same time, educators, policymakers and journalists like Amanda Ripley and Tom Friedman are bemoaning the...

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Making Our Schools "SuperBetter" With GBL

(4) Comments | Posted September 9, 2013 | 11:00 AM

Click here to read an original op-ed from the TED speaker who inspired this post and watch the TEDTalk below.

Jane McGonigal charged me up for more than the 7.5 minutes of life extension she promised. Yes, practicing her four "resiliencies" through gameplay may help make...

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Video Games and Societal Violence: Cause for Urgent Action or a Bridge Too Far?

(6) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 6:07 PM

In the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook, an unusual alliance of concerned policymakers from both sides of the aisle, as well as gun rights and children's advocates have called for new studies of violent entertainment, presuming a link with societal violence. Senator Jay Rockefeller, the Chairman of...

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Kids Online: What's Next in Social Learning and Technology Will Be... Well, Unexpected!

(3) Comments | Posted November 8, 2012 | 1:34 PM

If we heed the headlines of media accounts about how kids are using social media today, there is certainly cause for worry about how they are using the growing number of hours that they are online. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report published in 2010, 40 percent...

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No More Reading Wars! Getting Ahead of the Transition From Print to Digital Books

(6) Comments | Posted May 29, 2012 | 3:19 PM

When it comes to learning to read well, our country seems to be in a never-ending cycle of conflict and consternation. Recall the infamous "reading wars" of the 1980's and 90's between advocates of phonics and those of the "whole language methodology," which in turn led to several attempts to...

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Games: A Textbook for Digital Best Practices

(4) Comments | Posted February 28, 2012 | 2:01 PM

Written with Alan Gershenfeld, Founder and President of E-Line Media

The White House recently announced two major initiatives in learning and technology -- these "digital seed capital" efforts are "down-payments" to jumpstart innovation and break a two decade long cycle of snail-like reform. The first is...

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Balancing Young Learners' Media Consumption: Is There an App for That?

(5) Comments | Posted January 18, 2012 | 11:19 AM

America's preschoolers spend about four hours a day consuming media, ranging from television (still No. 1) to Internet, digital video, and young gamer favorites such as Club Penguin, SesameStreet.org and Little Big Planet. Start with the recent explosion of touchscreen tablets and apps, add a healthy dose of new 'i-tot'...

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Transforming Teaching For Today's Tech-Savvy Young Children

(1) Comments | Posted November 8, 2011 | 4:52 PM

The recent series of reports on technology's unfulfilled promise by the New York Times called "Grading the Digital School" is an important wake-up call for everyone who claims that the digital frontier will help transform schools as we know them. While every other sector -- from manufacturing to...

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Gaming Education Reform: Put Down Your Pencils And Play

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2011 | 2:52 PM

The popularity and increasing innovation of video game play is providing a new and surprisingly fresh framework for policy discussions about education reform. On Father's Day, President Obama spoke eloquently about the importance of being an engaged Dad, and urged fathers to "turn off the video games and pick up...

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Heads-Up, Media Producers: Families Still Matter Most in a Digital Age

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2011 | 3:48 PM

Tomorrow, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop is presenting a report at the E 3 Expo in Los Angeles that may surprise media designers and cause policymakers to step back from their current concerns about kids' digital multitasking addiction, cyber-bullying, violent videogames, and mobile disruptions in school. While...

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The iTot Challenge: Getting Young Children Ready in the Jetsonian Age

(7) Comments | Posted January 25, 2011 | 2:44 PM

As President Obama discusses our State of the Union with a much needed focus on innovation, education and investment in America's future, let's focus on one area that is ripe for radical change: how digital media can be used for education and hands-on, lifelong learning beginning right from the start.

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Make Teaching Creativity More Than Just a Song and Dance (VIDEO)

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2010 | 1:07 PM

Here's an unlikely HuffPost confession: we are unabashed "Gleeks!" In one season, the television show Glee has become a pop culture phenomenon, capturing the ups and downs of high school life in a hip, smart musical dramedy.

Our inner wonkiness takes comfort in the fact that aside...

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Stop Waiting: Learning for a Digital Age

(11) Comments | Posted October 4, 2010 | 1:25 AM

This teacher bashing must stop! It is an unwise diversion from what matters most: teaching children to love learning and be creative right from the start. As an unabashed ally in the moral outrage that animates Davis Guggenheim's powerful film "Waiting for 'Superman' ", count me as a skeptic of...

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Teaching for a Shared Future: American Educators Need to Think Globally

(123) Comments | Posted September 6, 2010 | 1:14 PM

American students' lack of knowledge about the world is unsettling.

According to surveys by National Geographic and Asia Society, young Americans are next to last in their knowledge of geography and current affairs compared to peers in eight other countries, and the overwhelming majority of college-bound seniors cannot find...

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