Recent Publications & Presentations

AIME Mentoring — A Solution for Inequality

AIME is a highly successful mentoring program for students in grades 7-12. Originating in Australia, and now operating in Uganda and South Africa, AIME will launch its U.S. program in early 2019. MCG prepared a white paper for AIME that highlights the need for comprehensive mentoring programs that help disadvantaged students in the U.S. complete high school and transition into positive post-secondary school pathways.

Environmental Scan of Educational Technology in U.S. Public Schools

This report was commissioned by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Findings from a 2015-16 environmental scan of educational technology in U.S. public schools are presented. Findings are based on an extensive literature review, focus groups with 144 educators, and individual interviews with state and district educational technology directors.

Effect of the UMIGO Transmedia Property on First and Second Grade Students’ Math Ability: Second Summative Evaluation

The goal of the UMIGO Partnership, recipient of a five-year Ready-to-Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education to promote early learning and school readiness, is to help young children attain basic math literacy and problem-solving through interactive transmedia. This report assesses an updated version of UMIGO in which transmedia suites were created. Additionally the treatment condition occurred in children’s homes in contrast with the prior assessment which was conducted in schools.

HITN ELC 2015 Pocoyo PlayGrounds summative evaluation report

This report evaluates the educational effectiveness of two Pocoyo PlayGrounds themed around colors and community helpers (e.g., police officers, firefighters, teachers) on preschool-age children’s: 1) early literacy skills and 2) acquisition of theme-related vocabulary and concepts.

Effect of the UMIGO Transmedia Property on First and Second Grade Students’ Math Ability: A Randomized Controlled (RCT) Study

The goal of the UMIGO Partnership, recipient of a five-year Ready-to-Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education to promote early learning and school readiness, is to help young children attain basic math literacy and problem-solving through interactive transmedia. The partnership created a media-based mathematics curriculum for children aged six to eight years. To assure the educational effectiveness of UMIGO products, a cluster-randomized trial was used.

Effects of Interaction with Pocoyo Playsets on Preschool (Spanish) ELL Children’s English Language Learning: A Randomized Controlled Trial

In 2010, the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network (HITN), the recipient of a Ready-to-Learn grant from the U.S. Department of Education, created “transmedia” suites of products to support English language development (ELD), early literacy, and early math skills in preschool-age children This report describes results of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) assessing of use of Pocoyo PlaySets (digital activities and games for touch screen devices featuring Pocoyo, the popular children’s media character) by preschool Spanish-speaking ELL children on their learning of English.

“Do Cheerios have whole grains?” : Results from a pilot evaluation of the Discover MyPlate curriculum

MCG presented the findings from the pilot evaluation of the Discover MyPlate curriculum in a poster titled, “Do Cheerios have whole grains?” at the Association for Psychological Science’s 27th Annual Convention on May 21, 2015. The poster highlighted a developmentally appropriate methodology – adapting reliable and valid measures into a storybook – as well as significant effects on 13 out of 14 student health and nutrition outcomes that were measured.

Impact With Games: A Fragmented Field

This report, released in collaboration with Games for Change and Benjamin Stokes, is part one of an ongoing project that seeks to get at the ‘big picture’ for social impact games. Our deep goal is to improve the coherence and collaboration in how stakeholders work together, aligning creative design with evidence and research across discipline.

Using Public Media to Reach and Teach Underserved Children: The Ready To Learn Initiative

MCG presented as part of a panel that described the purpose and impact of the US Department of Education’s Ready to Learn initiative at the 2015 American Educational Research Association in Chicago, IL. PDF versions of the presentations are available for UMiGO (presented by Michael Cohen) and the Early Learning Collaborative (presented by Carmina Marcial).

What is Trending — Presented at the Toys, Learning, Play Summit (TLP Summit) at Toy Fair, February 17, 2014

Exploratory discussion about the future of play and toys, how child’s play is evolving, and how the dimensions of play and learning are afforded or limited by interaction with touchscreen devices. Presented at the Toys, Learning, & Play Summit (TLP Summit) at Toy Fair, February 17, 2014  

Young Children, Apps & iPads

This early study of young children’s touch screen use describes how children explore and learn using touch screens, and which skills they develop. One important finding, children as young as two years old access, play, and learn with touch screen devices.

Ready To Learn Initiative: Using a Transmedia Approach to Enhance Early Literacy and Numeracy Skills — presented at AERA, Vancouver Canada; April 15, 2012

Study of young (two – eight years old) children’s use of touch screen technology and apps. A two-phase study with ninety-three children and ninety-three caregivers, primarily from low-income families representing the full range of race and ethnicity.  

 Toycon Presentation After the Toys Come Home

Toy purchases are well-documented and analyzed, but less is known about what occurs post toy purchase. This study focuses on unused and rejected toys.


Select Citations from MCG Staff

Stokes, B., Walden, N., O’Shea, G., Nasso, F., Mariutto, G., & Burak, A. (2015). Impact with games: A fragmented field. Pittsburg, PA: ETC Press. Retrieved from

Jopp, D. S., Wozniak, D., Damarin, A. K., De Feo, M., Jung, S., & Jeswani, S. (2014). How could lay perspectives on successful aging complement scientific theory? Findings from a US and a German life-span sample. The Gerontologist, 91-106.

Cohen, M. (2012). Working Together For a Safer World by Empowering, Engaging, and Educating Our Youth. Presentation. 2012 International Law Enforcement IP Crime Conference. Panama City, Panama.

Cohen, M. (2012). The Role of Research and Evaluation in Educational Media. In D. Singer & J. Singer, (Eds.), Handbook of Children and the Media (pp. 527-553). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

March 14, 2012. Hadley, M., O’Shea, G., Adams, L., Mariutto, G., & Cohen, M. iPad Use and Learning: Patterns Observed in Three Age Groups.  Paper accepted to present at the 2012 Early Education and Technology for Children Conference, Salt Lake City.

Cohen, M. & Hadley, M. (2011). Tracking Engagement and Learning in Transmedia: The Challenge of Designing Analytics for Complex Educational Media Properties. Conference convened by MCG and CREATE lab. NYU.

Rodriguez, M. L. & Walden, N. J. (2010) Socializing relationships: Family and peers. In M.B Spencer, D.P. Swanson & M. Edwards (Eds.), Adolescence: Development in a global era. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.

Hadley, M. (2008) – Relational Theory: inside out, outside in and in-between. In J. Berzoff, L. A. M Flanagan & P. Hertz. (Eds.) Inside Out and Outside In and All Around: Psychodynamic Clinical Theory and Psychopathology in Contemporary Multicultural Context (Chapter). Lanham, MD: The Rowan & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.

Cohen, M. (2005). Strategic communications and mental health – the WTC attacks: 1993 and 2001. In Y. Danieli & R. Dingman (Eds.), On the ground after September 11: Mental health responses and practical knowledge gained. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press.

Hoven, C.W., Duarte, C.S., Lucas, C.P., Wu, P., Mandell, D.J., Goodwin, R.D., Cohen, M., Balaban, V., Woodruff, B.A., Bin, F., Musa, G.J., Mei, L., Cantor, P.A., Aber, J.L., Cohen, P., & Susser, E. (2005). Psychopathology among New York city public school children 6 months after September 11. Archives of General Psychiatry 62, 545–552.

Hadley, M. (2004) – Relational, indirect, adaptive or just mean: recent quantitative research on aggression in adolescent girls – Part I and II. Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 5(3), 331-350.

Cohen, M. (2003). Media, Mental Health, and Public Policy: New York City case study. Paper presented at the WAPOR Annual Conference, Zurich.

Cohen, M. (1999). Children and Media: Entertainment and education in the Middle East. Paper presented, ESOMAR conference, Beijing, P.R. of China.

Cohen, M., & Matthias, S. (1997). Learning for the Future: Creative Solutions for Marketing Research. A Creative Approach for Developing Educational New Media for Children. Marketing and Research Today: The Journal of the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research, 123-134, and presented, 50th ESOMAR Congress and Exhibition in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Cohen, M. (1996). Preschoolers’ Practical Thinking and Problem Solving: The Acquisition of an Optimal Solution Strategy. Cognitive Development, 11, 357-373.

Hadley, M., & Sheingold, K. (1993). Commonalities and distinctive patterns in teachers’ integration of computers. American journal of education, 261-315.