Darling-Hammond and Barron recommend modernizing professional learning programs and expanding broadband to cover publicly funded preschool programs.
The Digital Age Teacher Preparation Council, established by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, with support from the Joyce Foundation, released the report Take a Giant Step, detailing a multi-sector action plan to enhance teacher education and a higher quality, 21st century approach to the learning and healthy development of children in preschool and the primary grades.
Co-chaired by Professor Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University and Michael H. Levine, the Cooney Center's Executive Director, the Council found that the integration of research-based and innovative training models are a key missing element in the design of quality early learning programs. From their review of research sponsored by foundations and government agencies, there is evidence that less than half of all early childhood programs in the U.S. are considered high quality and promote significant learning among underserved students. In addition, recent studies like Common Sense Media's report Zero to Eight: Children's Media Use in Americahave shown that children ages 3-8 are consuming between 4-7 hours of media daily. It is due to this shift that organizations such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children are updating professional practices to guide learning and development for today's children.