Report: Pioneering Literacy in the Digital Wild West: Empowering Parents and Educators
Digital apps designed to teach young children to read are an increasingly large share of the market, but parents and educators have little to no information about whether and how they work. The Campaign worked with experts in early literacy and technology at the New America Foundation and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop to create a report that scans the market of digital products and shares promising practices and programs.
To download Pioneering Literacy in the Digital Wild West: Empowering Parents and Educators click here.
To view a recording of the webinar on the findings of the report, please click here.
To access the powerpoint slides for the webinar, please click here.
Promising Programs Supporting Families and Communities:
Early Learning Environment from Fred Rogers Center – In an interactive online space, parents and educators can customize “playlists” of videos, games and activities online and off designed by early childhood experts.
The Baby Elmo Program – Using “Sesame Beginnings” videos as a launch pad for interaction with their children, incarcerated fathers are provided with models for positive engagement with their children during visits and after release from prison. The videos are from Sesame Workshop, which has hundreds of video clips, literacy games and tools.
Storytimes Online – The Idaho Commission for Libraries offers a DayByDayID.org website with daily messages to parents about literacy-building activities and daily featured e-books from Tumblebooks, a subscription service free to library users. Virginia and South Carolina, the origin of the idea, have built similar programs.
Wonderopolis – Daily tweets, Facebook posts and links to videos about the “wonder of the day” designed to inspire conversation, vocabulary building and further exploration. From the National Center for Family Literacy, which has published more than 700 wonders so far.
Pocket Literacy via Ounce of Prevention Fund – The Ounce of Prevention Fund, a national nonprofit, has partnered with Parent University’s Pocket Literacy Coach in sending daily texts to parent’s mobile phones with ideas for literacy activities and reassurances to lessen the stresses of parenting. In 2013, 1,500 Head Start parents will participate in an evaluation of the service.
Mind in the Making Learning Communities – Thirty-five organizations in 22 states have created communities of parents, educators and health professionals who come together regularly to watch video clips from baby experiments and discuss ideas from Mind in the Making, a critically acclaimed book by Ellen Galinsky of the Families and Work Institute.
Comienza en Casa/It Starts at Home – This program, which is part of the Maine Migrant Education Program, incorporates iPad use, traditional early learning activities and information to help parents improve school readiness and literacy skills for preschool and kindergarten children who speak little to no English.
Promising Programs Supporting Reading Teachers:
Success for All – A curriculum and professional development model in more than 1,000 schools; uses video clips to augment teachers’ lessons and computer-assisted tutoring. Results from a randomized controlled trial show technology enhancing rather than replacing teaching.
Targeted Reading Intervention with Webcam Coaching – A University of North Carolina program that emphasizes one-on-one sessions between classroom teachers and struggling readers for 15 minutes a day. Using iChat, FaceTime or Skype, literacy coaches support teachers remotely.
Innovations for Learning – Chicago-based nonprofit that develops computer-based reading programs to assist teachers and manages a Skype-like system for volunteer tutors. Tutors call classrooms weekly and go online for shared book-reading with first-graders. Participants include the Chicago Public Schools and District of Columbia Public Schools.
iREAD (I Record Educational Audio Digitally) – Students use iPods to record themselves reading books; teachers listen to audio files and personalize instruction according to what they hear. Developed by the Escondido Unified School District in San Diego.
CLI Compass – The Children’s Literacy Initiative, a program for training reading teachers used in 350 schools around the country, recently opened a free online video library of effective teaching techniques.
Ready to Learn “Transmedia” Products – Interactive media developers, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and other education media specialists are creating and evaluating learning products across TV, Internet, electronic white boards and touchscreen tablets.
TEC Center – The Erikson Institute, a graduate school in child development, opened the Technology in Early Childhood Center to strengthen teachers’ ability to select, use, integrate and evaluate technology in the classroom.