Debra Tica Sanchez
Senior vice president for education and children’s content, Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Last year, PBS reached about 80 percent of all kids ages 2 to 8. That is an enormous responsibility. Look at television and what it affords: the longer narrative story. You’re watching a 15-minute, 30-minute segment of content where kids are really engaged. Not only just Sesame Street, but we funded “SUPER WHY,” “Sid the Science Kid,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Martha Speaks.” We have two new series in production right now that are focused solely on math skills.
We have local stations across the country who are then extending this content even further. They’re working with local Head Start centers. They’re working with housing authorities. They’re working in a variety of day-care centers, with parents, and really building the knowledge of why technology can be a tool in your child’s learning.
What teachers probably need is to really be trained in how to use the technology in effective ways in the classroom, because I think there’s an awareness and certainly knowledge that this is where the kids are.
The kids using these devices are asked to power down before they come into classrooms in high schools, in middle schools, elementary schools. But [we need] to really teach the benefits of using technology, ways to incorporate technology into lessons when it’s not seen as a distraction [but] an enhancement to the learning process. I think that’s really a very critical step that needs to be taken with teacher training across the country.