Meeting Archive:
Technology for Family Engagement in Early Learning Settings

View the full recording here! Please download PowerPoint and handouts from links on the right.


Recommended Technology Tools/ Applications/Programs

 Digital Media for Early Learning

 Additional Resources:

Need more help? Contact TechSoup's Client Services at 1-800-659-3579.


Meeting Description:

More and more preschools, childcare centers, libraries, and community-based organizations that support the parents of children birth to five are turning to technology to enhance their engagement with families. A plethora of texting programs, video coaching tools, apps, and early literacy devices are now available to help families support their young children's development. But which are the best tools to use for your program? In this webinar, we will:

  • share the latest research on the technology habits of millennial parents
  • discuss how program providers can incorporate technology tools to engage modern families
  • provide an overview of some of the leading early learning platforms available

This webinar, presented by the Early Learning Lab, is the first in a series of four webinars on technology for the early childhood education field. The Early Learning Lab is partnering with the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, New America, Frontiers of Innovation, TechSoup and New Profit to produce this series. 

Please note that if you dial in by phone, you may need to provide this additional code: 25399998 
Please contact with accessibility requests for live captioning at least 72 hours prior to the event.
Date: Wed, Mar 16, 2016
Time: 11:00 AM PDT
Duration: 1 hour
Host(s): Susan Hope Bard
 Presenter Information
Sheetal Singh
Speaker Photo

At the Early Learning Lab, Sheetal works to build the capacity for innovation and the use of new technologies for preschools and community-based organizations working with families of children, birth to age 5. Her work at the Lab builds upon 15 years of experience in digital media and technology to solve social problems.
Prior to joining the Early Learning Lab, she helped advise the global NGO sector on the use of technology to accelerate impact as the Senior Director of Global Media at TechSoup Global, where she also managed the NetSquared social innovation community, connecting technologists with the social sector through monthly meetups, hackathons and online technology challenges. She also worked to develop digital media for parents to support their children's education as the Director of Program Development, GreatKids at GreatSchools. She holds a Masters Degree in Anthropology from the University of London, SOAS, with a focus on the use of technology in cross-cultural contexts.

Elena Lopez
Speaker Photo

M. Elena Lopez is an Associate Director at Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP). Her research focuses on the relationships between families, schools and communities as they relate to children’s development and education. Elena seeks to increase the usability of research in practice and teacher education. She has team-taught courses on family, school, and community educational engagement at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She was a governing board member of both the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Parent Services Project. Her publications include Paths to School Readiness, Early Childhood Reform in Seven Communities, Preparing Educators to Engage Families, and numerous articles on family engagement in education. Elena received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University. 

Sandra Gutierrez
Speaker Photo

Sandra Gutierrez is the Founder and National Director of Abriendo Puertas / Opening Doors. Ms. Gutierrez led the development of Abriendo Puertas / Opening Doors-the nation’s first evidence-based, comprehensive training program for Latino parents with children 0 to 5. She brings over forty years of experience with legal, children’s advocacy and community service organizations.  In addition, she served as a founding member and State Commissioner for First 5 California where she established the Advisory Committee on Equity. Ms. Gutierrez serves as an Advisory Board member for the Too Small To Fail Initiative. In March 2014, Ms. Gutierrez was named by the White House as a Cesar E. Chavez Champion of Change, and in February 2015 she received the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award.

Rebecca Parlakian
Speaker Photo

Rebecca Parlakian serves as Director of Parenting Resources at ZERO TO THREE.  In that role, she develops resources, like apps, Web-based resources, DVDs, and more, for parents, and trains parents and early childhood professionals.

Rebecca has co-authored three parenting education curricula and published articles on topics ranging from dual language development to best practices for building relationships with families.Rebecca holds a Master’s degree in Education and Human Development, with a concentration in infant-toddler special education, from the George Washington University, where she is currently serving as adjunct faculty.