When you throw a rock into a pond, the ripples go outward in a circle. They expand at the same rate in all directions, until the wake hits something that alters the geometry.
Now, imagine that a child turning on a screen-media device is that stone plopping into the water, and the effects or outcomes of that act are the emanating waves. Here, the pattern is crazily fractured—going out at different speeds, changing directions, overlapping itself, bouncing off some unseen force.
This was the image that formed in my mind during the New America Foundation’s research roundtable: “Digital Media and Early Learning: What We Know and What We Need to Learn,” on October 15th.