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Videos | | Early Edge California, Kidango, The Early Learning Lab, New America, PBS KIDS

Webinar: Best Practices for Engaging Young Children and their Families through Technology

The mandate to close schools in California and engage in distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the way that Early Learning teachers are able to engage with their students. To support the current needs of our teachers and the young children they work with, Early Edge California is designing a series of webinars to provide new tools for teaching from home.

Watch the Distance Learning Webinar:  Best Practices for Engaging Young Children and their Families through Technology

Hosted by Early Edge California in partnership with New America, PBS KIDS, and The Early Learning Lab

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting school closures have shifted early education drastically. Teachers and parents are now, more than ever, in need of new ways to engage young children and their families at home. This includes ideas for hands-on learning, playful and game-based learning, and learning via media (screens and books). 

During this webinar, which is geared for both teachers and parents, we will hear from experts at New America, PBS KIDS, and The Early Learning Lab, as well as California-based Early Learning practitioners, who will share how teachers can use technology to reach families and introduce them to these various approaches. They will also share guidance on selecting screen media for children and families to enhance learning at home. This informative webinar will address guidelines, best practices, and new resources to use with children and share with families to make the most of at-home learning.

Presentation Slides: Best Practices for Engaging Young Children and their Families through Technology


Presented by:



About the Presenters:

Lisa Guernsey
Director of Teaching, Learning, and Tech
New America

Lisa Guernsey is director of the Teaching, Learning, and Tech program and senior advisor to the Early and Elementary Education Policy program at New America. She also co-founded and leads the Learning Sciences Exchange fellowship program at New America. Guernsey focuses on new approaches to help students and families succeed in the Digital Age, and her work involves leading teams of analysts and writers to translate research, examine policies, and generate new ideas for developing high-quality learning opportunities for underserved and historically disadvantaged populations.

Sara DeWitt
Vice President 

As Vice President of PBS KIDS Digital, Sara DeWitt oversees as well as PBS KIDS’ streaming video apps, educational games, and digital experiences for parents. Her team’s mission is to make PBS KIDS content engaging and accessible to widely diverse audiences. Sara is a former preschool teacher, and also worked as a field researcher studying media habits of children in rural areas. She is a military spouse and mom to two young boys. 

Sara Schapiro 
Vice President
PBS Education, PBS

Sara Schapiro is the Vice President of Education at PBS. Schapiro leads PBS’s efforts to deepen partnerships across the education sector by engaging directly with educator communities and launching new initiatives that empower and support students, educators, caregivers, parents, and member stations. Previously, she helped found Digital Promise, an independent, bipartisan nonprofit whose mission is to spur innovation and improve all Americans’ opportunity to learn. Prior to Digital Promise, Schapiro worked for the New York City Department of Education, Chicago Public Schools, the New Jersey Department of Education and Pearson on pioneering teaching and learning projects, educational technology initiatives, and teacher and student engagement efforts. She holds a B.A. from Duke University and a Master’s of Public Policy from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy Studies.

Sheetal Singh 
Executive Director
The Early Learning Lab

At the Lab, Sheetal is working to advance early childhood learning by co-creating with communities to tap into their existing knowledge, and by using technology to scale impact. She oversees work with targeted local communities as they innovate, design, and test a range of solutions that support skill building for teachers, parents, and caregivers. She collaborates with colleagues to synthesize learnings and transfer knowledge to the early childhood sector, including policy makers, funders, and program implementers. She is also responsible for building partnerships to advance The Lab’s vision.

Jessica Gutierrez
State Preschool Teacher
Fresno Unified School District

Ms. Gutierrez is a Pre-K dual language learner teacher for Fresno Unified School District. She is a participant in the Language Learning Project in Fresno and is a part of the Language Learning Project Leadership Team facilitating professional development for participants statewide. Ms. Gutierrez holds a Bachelor of Science degree in child development, and has experience working with children, birth through third grade, in California’s Central Valley.

Angelica Cardenas
Center Director/Lead Teacher, Preschool


Angelica Cardenas is a center director for Kidango. Angelica is part of the Kidango@Home task force to keep children and families connected and engaged. She is using online technology such as ZOOM to keep her classroom engaged and staying connected with families. Angelica and her team are providing developmentally appropriate virtual circle time, short stories, and activities.Through this she is continuing to provide important lessons for cognitive development, social emotional development, and family engagement. She holds a B.A in childhood development from Cal State East Bay.

Patricia Lozano
Executive Director
Early Edge California

Prior to joining Early Edge California, Lozano served as a senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and worked on their national early learning strategy. In California, Lozano has spearheaded projects at UCLA’s Center for Improving Child Care Quality, First 5 LA, and the RAND Corporation, and developed research and evaluation projects to find evidence-based best practices for teachers to work with dual language learners. As a former teacher and associate director at a child development center, Patricia is passionate about supporting the needs of early childhood educators and improving quality for young children. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Los Andes University in Colombia and a Masters in Psychology (M.A.), Child Development Concentration, from California State University, San Bernardino.  

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