Hello TEC Center Community: A letter from Director, Alexis Lauricella, PhD

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Hello TEC Center Community,

I am Alexis Lauricella, PhD and the new Director of the Technology in Early Childhood Center and Assistant Professor at Erikson Institute. I am truly honored to have the opportunity to be a part of such an impressive center and to introduce myself. I am an applied child development researcher who has studied the role of media and technology on children’s learning and development for the past 15 years. I am passionate about understanding how children think, learn, and develop and what role technology plays in the development of those processes.

Research. My recent research has explored how children learn STEM concepts from technology. We have examined children’s learning of approximate measuring from interactive vs non-interactive technology (Aladé, Lauricella, Beaudoin-Ryan, & Wartella, 2016) and children’s learning of coding skills from playing different coding apps (Pila, Aladé, Sheehan, Lauricella, & Wartella, 2019). I plan to continue to explore how teachers are using technology in their early childhood classrooms to teach STEM skills and to increase interest in STEM fields.

Teaching. As an assistant professor at Erikson Institute, I teach graduate students and raise students’ awareness for the importance of developmentally appropriate technology use with young children. I teach Cognition and Family and Culture as well as a Technology and Early Learning course for the MSECE program.

TEC Mentors. I feel passionate about the need to communicate and apply scientific research to the field. I’m excited to be part of the TEC Center team and to be able to translate the research that has been done in the field to support the professional development of early childhood teachers through the TEC Mentors programThis opportunity to truly make a difference and support teachers in their effective and appropriate use of technology with young children is a wonderful opportunity to help me put my research into practice.

Next Steps. I am excited to be a part of such an incredible team at the TEC Center. Founding Director, Chip Donohue, PhD started the center with the mission of empowering early childhood educators to make informed decisions about the appropriate use of technology with young children. I’m excited to bring a research lens to this work and conduct TEC Center research to document how children can best learn from technology and what role both educators and parents can play in supporting that learning.


For more information about the research I have been doing please see my page on the Erikson Institute website here.  For my full CV please click here.

Warm regards,

Alexis Lauricella, PhD


Recent publications:

Lauricella, A. R., Cingel, D. R., & Wartella, E. (2018). Exploring how teens and parents responded to 13 Reasons Why: United States. Evanston, IL: Center on Media and Human Development, Northwestern University. Click here

Aladé, F., Lauricella, A. R., Beaudoin-Ryan, L., & Wartella, E. (2016). Measuring with Murray: Touchscreen technology and preschoolers’ STEM learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 62, 433-441. Click here

Blackwell, C. K., Lauricella, A. R., & Wartella, E. (2014). Factors influencing digital technology use in early childhood education. Computers & Education, 77, 82-90. Click here

Publications I’m reading:

McDaniel, B. T., & Radesky, J. S. (2018). Technoference: Parent distraction with technology and associations with child behavior problems. Child development, 89(1), 100-109. Click here

Schroeder, E. L., & Kirkorian, H. L. (2016). When seeing is better than doing: Preschoolers’ transfer of STEM skills using touchscreen games. Frontiers in psychology, 7, 1377. Click here

Teti, D. M., Cole, P. M., Cabrera, N., Goodman, S. H. & McLoytd, V. C. (2017). Supporting Parents: How six decades of parenting research can inform policy and best practice. Social Policy Reports, 1-34. Click here



Aladé, F., Lauricella, A. R., Beaudoin-Ryan, L., & Wartella, E. (2016). Measuring with Murray: Touchscreen technology and preschoolers’ STEM learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 62, 433-441.

Pila, S., Aladé, F., Sheehan, K. J., Lauricella, A. R., & Wartella, E. A. (2019). Learning to code via tablet applications: An evaluation of Daisy the Dinosaur and Kodable as learning tools for young children. Computers & Education, 128, 52-62.

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