Are you ready to start?

This spring, we have welcomed 12 passionate, engaged, and motivated professionals who are committed to cultivating children’s creative lives. These individuals are committed to using their own creative talents and their careers to support children as creative and innovative learners. Currently, our students are taking part in courses that invite them to explore what it means to be a child in the 21st century and how creativity and learning are positioned in multiple ways.

Soon, our students will have opportunities to connect with local organizations that are doing creative and innovative work with children. These experiences will provide them with hands-on-learning experiences that will support them in their personal pursuits.

Applications to begin the MACIE program in Fall 2017 are due May 1st.

Will you join us in cultivating children’s creative lives?

If so, learn more about the application process HERE.

How much is enough screen time?

Studies show that children are spending an average of 3 hours a day on screens. This includes activities like watching television, streaming videos online, playing games, and doing school work.

Some simple multiplication tells us that that if kids are spending 3 hours a day in front of a screen, then that means they’re spending 45 days a year staring at a screen. Before we start pointing fingers and lamenting the screen-free days, we should probably take a long look in the mirror.

Studies also show that parents are spending as much time on screens as their children. Whether it be at work or at home, we adults are clocking in about 9 hours a day on our screens.

For those of us working with or raising children, these numbers are concerning, especially when we consider how little time is left for other social and hands-on learning experiences.

As with all things, screens are beneficial when we use them in moderation, but our problems are in figuring out how much is “enough,” and choosing to engage in quality screen-based activities.

Last November, The American Academy of Pediatrics released their revised guidelines for children and screen time. According to their recommendations, children should:

*Avoid screen time until over age 18 months;
*Limit screen time to one hour per day between ages 2 to 5;
*Co-view media with adults and engage in conversations about what they are seeing;
*Develop a media use plan with an adult after they reach age 6. This plan should include an appropriate amount of use time and an outline for the kinds of media that they will use.

One consistent theme throughout the guidelines is an emphasis on adults engaging with children during media use. This allows adults to help scaffold children’s learning and provides adults with authentic opportunities to teach the importance of safe-use and online citizenship.

As children reach the ages of 6 to 8, the AAP suggests that they work with their parents to develop a Media Use Plan that outlines when, how, and where they will view screens.

The Media Use Plan is an interactive template that can be found HERE.

“When was the last time you were called CHILDISH?”

When was the last time you were called childish?  That’s the question Adora Svitak wants to ask adults.

Based on her observations, it’s not an adjective that should be associated with kids because adults can be just as irrational, compulsive, and immature as the images that come to mind when the word “childish” is used to condemn an individual who is acting irresponsibly or foolish.

Svitak wants to reclaim the word “childish” and expand its meaning to reflect the hopefulness, inspiration, and inventiveness that children bring into the world. It’s precisely this kind of “childish” thinking that drives innovators to imagine new ideas and to create new possibilities. Svitak acknowledges that kids already do a lot of learning from adults, but she presents a very convincing case for her argument that adults should start learning more from kids.

If you’re looking to be inspired and aren’t afraid to be called childish, take eight minutes to hear this kid out. But, beware: sometimes the truth hurts.