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How Television and Video Games Affect Young Children

A Presentation by Lisa Guernsey

Debates are raging about videos aimed at babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, but what do scientists really know about their impact? Lisa Guernsey, author of Into the Minds of Babes: How Screen Time Affects Children from Birth to Five, visited child research laboratories across the country to find out. Drawing on examples from popular shows such as Dora the Explorer and Blues Clues, Guernsey discussed the age at which children begin showing evidence of learning from what they see on screen, the impact of television on language and other areas of development, the surprising impact of background television, the type of content that young children find most upsetting, and how parents and early childhood providers can make informed decisions about screen time.

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  • Lisa Guernsey is a Senior Policy Analyst for the Early Education Initiative at New America Foundation. A former reporter for the New York Times and the Chronicle of Higher Education, Guernsey writes extensively on education, science, and technology issues.

    This presentation was made on April 1, 2009 at Eastern Connecticut State University and was sponsored by Eastern's University Hour and the Center for Early Childhood Education. This video is also available on our YouTube channel.