• Bringing PBS Kids Transmedia to Expanded Learning Settings: Emerging Practices

    Bringing PBS Kids Transmedia to Expanded Learning Settings:
    Emerging Practices

    With support from the United States Department of Education, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Public Broadcasting System (PBS) are leading Ready To Learn, an initiative designed to develop and deploy dynamic new educational content to support math and literacy learning among children ages two to eight, especially those living in poverty. This approach, known as “transmedia storytelling,” or simply “transmedia,” utilizes the appeal of familiar PBS KIDS characters and narratives across multiple platforms— including interactive games, television series, and websites—to create a coordinated and connected learning experience for children.

  • Early Literacy Project Report 2012-2014

    Early Literacy Project Report 2012-2014

    Since 2012, The Eight – AZ PBS Early Literacy Project has been implemented in Yuma, Arizona. Over 1,000 workshop participants have taken advantage of the Yuma Early Literacy Project opportunity during fiscal years 2013 and 2014 while over 750 participated in 2012 given that it was a partial year.

    The six-week program is designed to provide innovative and creative ways of assisting parents, relatives, caregivers, and other professionals understand the importance of early childhood literacy along with providing tools and tips on how they can encourage their children to read and improve kindergarten readiness. Each week, participants are sequentially introduced to a literacy focal area during two-hour workshops. The workshops include 1) understanding a child’s brain development, 2) the importance of reading, 3) literacy around the house, 4) activities to promote healthy habits, language development, and parent advocacy, 5) discovering literacy using media, and 6) increasing literacy through the web.

  • Evaluation of The Electric Company Summer Learning Program

    Evaluation of The Electric Company Summer Learning Program

    The Electric Company (TEC) television show won the hearts of children because it made learning fun. Thirty years later, the iconic show has returned with the goal of not only teaching literacy, but also numeracy (the ability to work with and understand numbers) and mathematics vocabulary in a fun, entertaining, and engaging manner.

    The Electric Company Summer Learning Program curriculum includes: Scripted group facilitation, DVDs of 12 new TEC episodes (viewing two episodes per week), Targeted broadband activities, Individual and peer activities. The Summer Learning Program is 36 hours in length, spread out over five to six weeks. Participants include both teachers and students, ages 6 to 8 years. Last year, 152 students and 16 teachers participated in 1 of 12 programs nationwide.

    In this report, WestEd researchers describe a formative evaluation study of TEC in 2009 and provide feedback on successes and areas for improvement.  Some key findings: Students showed a 20% gain in their numeracy skills from pre- to post-assessment. Students showed a 41% gain in their mathematics vocabulary from pre- to post-assessment. Students showed a 17% gain in their phonics skills from pre- to post-assessment.

  • Games and Family Life

    Games and Family Life

    Video games are a source of family entertainment, with parents, children and grandparents all vying for the controls. Today’s parents increasingly view video games as a positive and often educational way to interact with their children. In fact, games in the “family entertainment” category are one of the most popular segments of the video game market. Parents now have a variety of resources available to help them monitor and evaluate games, ensuring that only the games they deem suitable make it into their children’s hands.

  • Developing healthy habits

    Developing healthy habits

    Sesame Street's Healthy Habits for Life program to combat childhood obesity is having a healthy impact through educational messages within the show as well as a comprehensive outreach effort. Several studies make it clear that our popular characters have a significant impact on children choosing one food over another. In fact, recent research with U.S. kids shows that when a healthy food is promoted by a Sesame character, children eat 31% more of it than when it's promoted by an unknown character. An earlier study suggested that when Elmo promotes broccoli, children’s interest in eating broccoli over chocolate increases by 127%. A study in Mexico found a similar connection: Pairing healthy food with a Sesame character increases children’s likelihood of choosing it over unhealthy food by 10%.

  • A Report to the Ready to Learn Initiative

    A Report to the Ready to Learn Initiative

    About EDC/CCT
    Education Development Center, Inc. is a global nonprofit organization that develops, delivers, and evaluates innovative programs to address urgent challenges in education, health, and economic development. EDC manages more than 300 projects in 35 countries. For more than 25 years, EDC's Center for Children and Technology has been at the forefront of creating and researching new ways to foster learning and improve teaching through the development and thoughtful implementation of new educational technologies.

    About SRI/CTL
    SRI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute conducting client-sponsored research and development for government agencies, commercial businesses, foundations, and other organizations. SRI's Center for Technology in Learning (CTL) evaluates large-scale technology innovations, designs assessments that enhance teaching and learning, develops tools to help students master complex ideas, builds online communities of learners, and offers strategic learning consulting services.

  • The New Coviewing: Designing for Learning through Joint Media Engagement

    The New Coviewing: Designing for Learning through Joint Media Engagement

    Produced by the Joan Ganz Cooney and LIFE Centers, the report features case studies written by researchers and producers on the challenges and successes of bringing families together around newer forms of media. The design guide that follows offers essential advice to media producers also interested in engaging children, parents, grandparents, and educators in meaningful conversation and play in this digital age.

  • iLearn II: An Analysis of the Education Category on Apple's App Store

    iLearn II: An Analysis of the Education Category on Apple's App Store

    The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop released iLearn II: An Analysis of the Education Category of Apple's App Store, an examination of nearly 200 top-selling education category apps for Apple’s iPad and iPhone with the goal of understanding this market’s dynamics and trends. The analysis highlights industry best practices and future opportunities for developers, educators and researchers to influence this important, but under-scrutinized category by closely examining the content of children’s apps within the education category.   The report continues the work of  the groundbreaking iLearn, published in 2009 as a benchmark for change of an ever-growing and evolving category.

  • Ready to Learn Summative Evaluation
    Ready to Learn Summative Evaluation The Ready to Learn Initiative is a program to develop educational television programming, online games, and outreach activities that increase school readiness for 2- to 8-year-old children living in low-income households. In 2005, the U.S. Department of Education awarded one of two Ready to Learn Programming and Outreach grants to PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). Beginning in 2006, CPB contracted with the Education Development Center and SRI International to conduct a summative evaluation of the Ready to Learn Initiative through a series of research studies.
  • Take a Giant Step: A Blueprint for Teaching Young Children in a Digital Age

    Take a Giant Step: A Blueprint for Teaching Young Children in a Digital Age

    In January 2010, the Cooney Center, in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Institute, convened a Digital Age Teacher Preparation Council, co-chaired by Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University and Michael H. Levine, the Cooney Center's Executive Director, at Sesame Workshop. The Council's eighteen members from academia, industry, and policy assessed current practices in early education and elementary school teaching and have designed a professional development "blueprint" to advance the use of effective digital media in teaching and learning, with a special emphasis on instruction for underserved students. This report, Take a Giant Step, represents the Council's multi-sector action plan to enhance teacher education and a higher quality, 21st century approach to the learning and healthy development of children in preschool and the primary grades. The report sets forth several goals for the nation to meet by 2020, including advancing technology integration and infrastructure; a more robust professional training program for early education professionals; the expanded use of public media as cost-effective assets for teachers; and the establishment of a Digital Teacher Corps.

  • Design Squad

    Design Squad

    Premiering on PBS in January 2011, Design Squad Nation (DSN) is a 10-part series of TV shows and video blogs that build on the success of the award-winning PBS reality competition series Design Squad to get kids excited about engineering. DSN is high-energy, high-drama reality TV led by Judy and Adam, two professional engineers who work with kids around the world to make their wishes come true through engineering. From creating a park for skaters at the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Arizona to building a playground in a rural village in Nicaragua's northern mountains, the goal of DSN is to inspire viewers to take on their own hands-on engineering activities.

  • Super WHY! - Super Why! Summer Camp

    Super WHY!

    Numerous studies over the past four decades have provided empirical support for the potential of television to serve as a powerful educational tool (Yotive & Fisch, 2001), particularly with regard to enhancing pre-academic skills (Wright, Huston, Scantlin, & Kotler, 2001). A recent addition to the field of educational television is Super WHY!, a series geared toward preschool-age children that focuses on the development of emergent literacy skills. Early studies have been extremely promising in showing that consistent in-home viewing of Super WHY! has a pronounced impact on the development of critical early literacy skills (Linebarger, McMenamin, & Wainwright, 2009).

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    Super Why! Summer Camp

    The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) funded Super WHY! Summer Camps during 2007, 2008, and 2009 as part of its Ready To Learn (RTL) initiative. The week-­‐long camps were designed for preschool children from low-­‐income families. Pre-­‐ and posttest results from summer camp participants indicate growth in literacy skills and abilities. On average, participants achieved an 11.7 percentage point gain as a result of the four-­‐day, 12-­‐hour intervention.

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  • 71% of online adults use video-sharing sites

    71% of online adults use video-sharing sites

    Fully 71% of online Americans use video-sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, up from 66% a year earlier. The use of video-sharing sites on any given day also jumped five percentage points, from 23% of online Americans in May 2010 to 28% in May 2011.

    Rural internet users are now just as likely as users in urban and suburban areas to have used these sites, and online African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely than internet-using whites to visit video-sharing sites.

  • Always Connected: The new digital media habits of young children

    Always Connected: The new digital media habits of young children

    Today’s parents, academics, policymakers and practitioners are scrambling to keep up with the rapid expansion of media use by children and youth for ever-larger portions of their waking hours. This report by Sesame Workshop and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center takes a fresh look at data emerging from studies undertaken by Sesame Workshop, independent scholars, foundations, and market researchers on the media habits of young children, who are often overlooked in the public discourse that focuses on tweens and teens.

  • Learning: Is there an app for that?

    Learning: Is there an app for that? New White Paper from Joan Ganz Cooney Center! Nov 2010

    A mobile media revolution that is changing the lives of adults, and now children of all ages, is under way across the globe. This report focuses on how new forms of digital media are influencing very young children and their families in the United States and how we can deploy smart mobile devices and applications-apps, for short-in particular, to help advance their education.

  • Challenge Paper: The Power of Pow! Wham!: Children, Digital Media and Our Nation's Future

    Challenge Paper: The Power of Pow! Wham!: Children, Digital Media and Our Nation's Future

    Dr. Rima Shore, Adelaide Weismann Chair in Educational Leadership at Bank Street College of Education, is the author of the Cooney Center's inaugural "new directions" report on learning for elementary-aged kids in a digital age. The paper reflects a field scan that the Center staff and Dr. Shore conducted during the summer of 2007, including interviews with more than 50 experts on literacy, educational media, children and family policy, and industry innovations.

  • SUPER WHY! Research

    SUPER WHY! Research

    Decades of research support our understanding that, created with the intent to teach, educational television can go far toward supporting a child's academic and prosocial development (Fisch & Truglio, 2001; Singer & Singer, 2001). The newest addition to the educational television landscape is SUPER WHY!, a program that uses a narrative framework, participatory requests, and pseudo-contingent feedback to solve problems through storybook reading, modeling of key early literacy skills, and fun, interactive games.

  • Cell Phone Study: Learning Letters with Elmo

    Cell Phone Study: Learning Letters with Elmo

    This report is an evaluation of the PBS Ready To Learn Cell Phone Study: Learning Letters with Elmo. For this study, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Ready To Learn contracted with WestEd to evaluate the use of cellular phones as a medium for delivering Ready To Learn content to parents and families. The PBS Ready To Learn Cell Phone Study: Learning Letters with Elmo was a collaborative effort among the U.S. Department of Education, PBS Ready To Learn, Sesame Workshop, WestEd, Sprint, and GoTV Networks.

  • Teachers Increasingly Rely on Media and Technology 2010

    Teachers Increasingly Rely on Media and Technology 2010

    The eighth annual PBS teacher survey on media and technology use reflects a deepening commitment to media and digital technology that connect teachers and their students to educational resources. With each passing year, teachers’ reliance on media and technology for classroom instruction and student engagement is increasing. Teachers value digital media as instructional resources that help them engage student interest, promote creativity and differentiate instruction. Increasingly, teachers are turning to the Internet to access content that traditionally has been distributed via television broadcasts.

  • PBS TeacherLine and PBS Education Research

    PBS TeacherLine and PBS Education Research

    Research includes exciting findings such as …“Testing the Efficacy and Impact of a Selected PBS TeacherLine Course,” conducted by Hezel Associates and funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready-to-Teach grant

    “The Impact of a NCLB-EETT Funded Professional Development Program on Teacher Self-Efficacy and Resultant Implementation,” by Richard Overbaugh and Ruiling Lu

    “The Impact of a Federally Funded Grant on a Professional Development Program: Teacher’s Stages of Concern Toward Technology Integration,” by Richard Overbaugh and Ruiling Lu

     “A Study of PBS TeacherLine Online Course Facilitation,” conducted by ALTA Solutions Group, LLC and funded by the U. S. Department of Education’s Ready-to-Teach grant.

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