AIR Experts Develop Media Guide for National PTA & Cable in the Classroom


Washington, D.C. – A team of experts with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) worked closely with the National PTA and Cable in the Classroom in developing a guide for families to help deal with the effect media can have on children.

The report, Navigating the Children’s Media Landscape: A Parent’s and Caregiver’s Guide, offers ideas and strategies to help parents and caregivers select and use media in ways appropriate for their children.

“Negotiating the media landscape can be downright daunting,” says Douglas Levin, who directed AIR’s efforts. “The media literacy tools in this report give families a place to turn for help.”

In addition to Levin, the team included Sousan Arafeh, Carla Baker Deniz and Julie Gottesman and relied upon the skill of other AIR staff as well. It builds directly upon past research by AIR on the use of technology for learning.

“For many parents and caregivers, the familiar media that shaped their youth have been forever changed by stunning advances in digital and wireless technologies,” says Levin. “Stuffed animals talk to our infants, books literally read themselves to our toddlers. Board games have been replaced by single- and multi-player video games.”

For more than a decade, National PTA and Cable in the Classroom have collaborated to provide educational information and resources that help families take control of their TVs and other media. This report is part of Cable Puts You In Control, the cable industry’s comprehensive multimedia educational campaign designed to help families better manage the flow of TV programming into their homes.

The report includes a guide that highlights each stage of a child’s physical, cognitive, social/emotional, and linguistic development. The guide then links each stage to media strategies and recommends categories of choices that would be developmentally appropriate for each stage. 

The American Institutes for Research, founded in 1946, is a leader in the behavioral and social sciences. AIR is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization engaged in domestic and international research, development, evaluation, analysis, product development, training and technical assistance and assessment.

The report is available on Cable in the Classroom’s website,, and on AIR’s website,

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Dana Tofig

Managing Director, Corporate Communications