I’m a cognitive neuroscientist with a doctorate in educational psychology, a digital media entrepreneur (check out www.planetwonderreel.pw) and a Mandelorian fan. But none of those is precisely why I’m here.
I’m here because, as I travel the world of children’s media (I mean literally travel, one conference to the next), I hear more nonsense about kids, their media experiences and their cognitive, social and emotional development than you can shake a stick at.
I’ve taught and run youth programs since I was 14. For decades now I’ve made children’s media at Disney, Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, PBS stations, even at the Metropolitan Opera. I study the brain and learning at the City University of New York, where I also teach on childhood, children and media. And I’m here to tell you: Kids aren’t alien beings.
They’re not remodeled every couple of years like Toyotas or some drug-resistant virus. They’re not impossible to fathom, much less to communicate with. Children are humans like you and me, only smaller.
So let’s tone down the hyperbole. Let’s consider who might benefit from the myths of constant change. Let’s honor the enduring consistency of psychological science and common sense.
In short, let’s start shaking that stick.