Watch Growing Up on Zoom: Kids in the Time of COVID

Written by: The Exchange

The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on us all, but perhaps some of the most striking and consequential impacts have been to our children. Deeply dependent on social interaction to nourish their developing brains, babies and young children require the stimulation provided by in-person engagement to flourish and thrive. Patricia Kuhl co-directs the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington and is a pioneer in the study of early childhood learning. Lamenting the potential learning loss over the last two years, she has been investigating these declines in order to quantify and better understand them. Are all children affected in the same and equitable ways? Are the consequences temporary? And have we gleaned important insights from this enforced isolation that give us reason for optimism?


Patricia K. Kuhl is the Co-Director of the University of Washington Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences. Patricia’s work has played a major role in demonstrating how early exposure to language alters the brain. It has implications for critical periods in development, for bilingual education and reading readiness, for developmental disabilities involving language, and for research on computer understanding of speech. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Rodin Academy.

Peabody-award winning writer/executive producer Wendy Calhoun’s unique career spans one-hour dramas, unscripted series, VR, and gaming. Her scripted drama credits include Co-Executive Producing and writing the historic first season of FBC’s Empire, as well as debut seasons of Prodigal Son, Station 19, Nashville, Revenge, and Justified. Known as a champion for diversity and inclusion, Calhoun’s developed and sold ten series pitches since 2015 with buyers including Netflix, Universal, Starz, Disney, The CW, F/X, and Fox.


The statements and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the event participants and do not necessarily reflect the views of any organization or agency that provided support for this event or of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.