Dr. Bers has written multiple books, articles, and research studies based on her decades of work with young children and their development.Dr. Marina Umaschi Bers is a professor and department chair at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University.She also heads the interdisciplinary Developmental Research Group at the University.She is the author of the book Coding as a Playground: Programming and Computational Thinking in the Early Childhood Classroom, and is the co-founder and chief scientist at KinderLab Robotics, Inc.Dr. Bers has designed several programs for children in pre-K through 2nd grade, including the KIBO robot and ScratchJr, a visual, block-based programming language for tablets.She is hardly a newcomer to the youth-coding landscape, having been involved in the development of the extremely popular, graphics-based coding language ScratchJr.
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"When the screen is needed—which it will be—find the most creative uses for those screens,” said Marina Umaschi Bers, chair at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development. Bers has a strong metaphor that may help: Think of a screen as either a playground or a playpen. Lastly, Bers said, since children learn by watching, parents should try to create a schedule for themselves for screen use during the day. With a schedule and a reframed view on screen time given the COVID-19 pandemic, parents can relax when kids are engaged in a "playpen" screen activity, Bers said.