Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Can Elmo Help Kids Learn Their ABCs? A PBS Study Indicates the Cell Phone's Potential as an Early-Literacy Learning Tool

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Can Elmo Help Kids Learn Their ABCs? A PBS Study Indicates the Cell Phone's Potential as an Early-Literacy Learning Tool

Article excerpt

IT'S NOT ENOUGH that my 12-year-old wants a cellphone, now I have to get one for my 3-year-old, too? That could well be a common refrain from parents after they learn of the results of a study done by the Public Broadcasting System's PBS Kids (www.pbskids.org) that tested the ability of cell phone-delivered video clips to help preschoolers learn the alphabet.

For the study, called "Ready to Learn Cell Phone Study: Learning Letters With Elmo," video-enabled Sprint (www.sprint.com) phones were given to 80 parents in Oakland, Fresno, and Los Angeles. The parents were asked to listen to literacy tips and show their children video clips of letters at least three times a week for eight weeks. The researchers aimed to assess the effectiveness of the cell phone as an educational device for preschoolers, as well as evaluate the different impact the approach would have on participants in different economic demographics: above the poverty line, and at or below the poverty line.

According to the participating parents, their children's knowledge of the alphabet grew during the eight weeks. …

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