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Welcome!

Digital media surround children. And as access increases, so does families’ desire to guide their children’s use of these media. In this issue, we hear from Heather Weiss, Gregg Behr, Mizuko Ito, Marsha L. Semmel, and Katie Salen Tekinbaş about the ways schools, libraries, museums, and communities can assist families as they support their children’s learning through digital media.

We have also included a number of important resources about children’s use of digital media, and those representing the latest information in family engagement research, policy, and practice. In response to our readers’ requests for information on evaluation for continuous improvement, we present a comprehensive list of resources on this topic.

We thank you as always, and invite you to pass this issue on to interested friends and colleagues. We also hope you’ll send us any comments you might have!

With best wishes,
Harvard Family Research Project FINE Team 


Commentary

Family Engagement as a Shared Responsibility in a Digital Learning Environment

Photo of Heather B. Weiss, Director of Harvard Family Research Project

HFRP director Heather B. Weiss examines how families and others involved with children and youth can ensure that children obtain the access, supports, and opportunities that they need to get the full benefits of digital media for learning. The author stresses the importance of all children having full and equal access to and participation with digital media—including not only the availability of hardware and broadband, but also parental and institutional guidance and scaffolding to help youth make good choices in the use of digital media.


Perspectives

Guiding Families on Children's Media Use

Three experts—Gregg Behr, Mizuko Ito, and Katie Salen Tekinbas—provide a rich array of ideas related to how schools, museums, libraries, and communities can assist families as they support their children’s learning through digital media use. The authors include examples to illustrate practices in which institutions partner with families to help them understand, shape, support, and share in their children’s digital learning. In this way, family engagement becomes a shared responsibility for children’s learning and development in a digital environment.

Picture of Gregg Behr

Transforming Pittsburgh into Kidsburgh!
Dynamic Pittsburgh! Hundreds of the city’s PreK–12 educators, artists,  technologists, and families are working together to remake learning.

   
Picture of Mizuko Ito

Seamless and Connected—Education in the Digital Age Through connected learning, schools, museums, and libraries are employing innovative strategies, leveraging digital media to  make learning more relevant and engaging to youth, and linking the crucial spheres in a learner’s life—peers, interests, and academic pursuits.

   
Picture of Katie Salen Tekinbas

What About the Parents?
Katie Salen Tekinbas outlines strategies and activities that  New York City public school Quest to Learn has implemented to ensure that  families are engaged in the digital learning life of students.

   

Tips & Tools

Lessons From Museums and Libraries: Five Ways to Address Families’ Digital Learning Needs

Photo of Marsha Semmel

Museums and libraries are increasing their offerings for families in support of such vital 21st-century learning skills as problem solving, digital media literacy, and creativity. Learn how these institutions play important roles in addressing our children’s  digital learning needs.

   

Social Media—Engaging Families in Children’s Learning and Use of Digital Media

Twitter iconFacebook icon

Are you interested in using social media to find out how families can navigate digital media to enhance children’s learning? Start  here—we guide you to organizations and individuals that bring the latest DML research into public focus!


FINE Interactive

Transition Board

Picture of Christine Patton and Shannon Wanless

To help educators engage families during the transition to school, Harvard Family Research Project’s Christine Patton, in partnership with Shannon Wanless, of the SEED Lab at the University of Pittsburgh, launched an online discussion board, Let's Talk Transition! Family Engagement During the Transition to School.

   

 Live web chat! Join us to discuss Using Evaluation to Improve Family Programming in the Early Years

Photo of Maggie Caspe

What data should you give funders to show your progress on your family engagement work? What should you do with family engagement data once you gather it? Explore these and related topics with expert panelists during our live web chat on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 1:00 PM EDT.


Research Spotlight

Get Started!—Resources on Using Evaluation for Continuous Improvement

Publication cover of the Research Spotlight on Using Evaluation for Continuous Improvement This Research Spotlight, which follows up on our 2013 fall FINE Newsletter, has been compiled in response to our readers’ interest in using evaluation for continuous improvement.



Family Involvement News

April 2014 News

Harvard Family Research Project's Family Engagement News

We are committed to keeping you up to date on family engagement news. The resources in this section highlight the latest tools and discussions from HFRP and review recent findings in the areas of family engagement policy, strategies, and research, along with family engagement and digital learning.


Contact Us

As always, we invite your feedback on the topics we explore in this FINE Newsletter and encourage you to pass on this issue to interested friends and colleagues. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to join the conversation and stay informed!


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