Our team was proud to present our research and development process behind Early Math with Gracie & Friends in the National Science Foundation’s 2015 Teaching and Learning Video Showcase. We are honored to have received NSF funding to create Gracie & Friends and to have received the Facilitators’ Award during the Video Showcase!
(And other research-based apps!)
It’s a brave new world. The iPad is only three years old (the same age as some of our users), and already in a quarter of American households. We have decades of research on television’s effects on children, but virtually none on the effects of tablets and other mobile devices. This comes as no surprise. Research is time-consuming. Research is expensive. Let’s face it, research is often tedious. But we need research. Those decades of television research advanced our understanding of how to harness the medium for good, and resulted in shows like Sesame Street, Arthur, and Blue’s Clues.
Next Generation Preschool Math isn’t just about contributing to the learning of individual children, it’s about contributing to a burgeoning field of knowledge. Our research partners at EDC and SRI recently completed a pilot study in 3 classrooms across the country, and are currently preparing for a large-scale study with sixteen classrooms throughout the US. We’re already sharing lessons learned with educators and technologists at conferences across the country (see “NGPM @ SXSW”), and we can’t wait to share the results of the latest study with children’s media professionals everywhere.
Families and educators are worried about what this brave new world will bring for the children they care about. Rightfully so. The only way to assuage their fears and help them navigate it is through research. It’s why we need NGPM.
We’ve spent the past year scouring the market for the best educational apps for preschoolers. We even took these apps into our preschool partner sites to test with kids. Our conclusion? Working hand-in-hand with preschool children and preschool teachers (in addition to child development and early learning experts) makes all the difference in the effectiveness of the app — both in terms of learning and fun.
That’s what the Next Generation Preschool Math project is all about. But don’t just take it from us – we asked Little Sprouts what they thought, and their responses warmed our app-building, educational-technology-loving hearts.