Dr. Kelly Leahy Whitney has worked in children’s and educational media for over fifteen years. A unique professional bridging research, development, and production in educational media and educational technology, Dr. Whitney’s career combines online, app, and television development/production with digital learning research. Dr. Whitney has developed and produced broadcast and digital media for a range of organizations including PBS, Nickelodeon, Discovery, and MIT. Many projects included in her professional portfolio have massive distribution (1M+) and balance educational design and curricular goals with high engagement, cultural implications, and media literacy.
Her research takes a cultural and developmental lens toward media with special interests in educational technology, digital games & toys, mobile technologies, television, and web content. She researched participatory media and cultural shifts related to emerging technologies at Harvard University and at MIT. She recently collaborated on two large studies for PBS, an Impact Study of educational content and a meta-synthesis of nearly 150 studies of PBS content. Dr. Whitney has been teaching for years in formal and informal environments, ranging from after-school programs to university lecture halls.
Dr. Whitney earned her doctorate in education from Harvard University and was awarded the Fred Rogers Memorial Scholarship for her dissertation research. She is proud to be an alumna of Northwestern University and the American School of Paris. She lives in the Washington DC area and spends most of her free time with her young daughter, husband, and the world’s friendliest dog.
Dr. Whitney is currently the Chief Product Officer for iCivics and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association for Media Literacy Education.