Mobile messaging programs are a low-cost, scalable approach to building parents’ knowledge and capacity to support their children’s development. These programs directly deliver simple and straightforward information, tips, and activities that parents can incorporate into daily routines.
This report focuses on implementation of the Apple and ConnectED Initiative with respect to the dual digital divides along socioeconomic lines in access to technology and its use in instruction. It describes why it was important to bridge those divides in the ConnectED schools and offers some lessons learned for others who are implementing similar initiatives.
Within and beyond the U.S., access to advanced technology for students and teachers is held out as a path toward educational transformation. However, in historically underserved schools and communities, this promise remains elusive. Many schools do not have access to the technologies that can open new learning opportunities for teachers and students (the digital-access divide). Even with increased access to technology, the use of that technology in active and creative ways does not automatically follow in schools serving high concentrations of students facing socioeconomic barriers (the digital-use divide).
This report explores the dual digital divides of disparities in access to technology and its use in instruction through the lens of the Apple and ConnectED Initiative, which has been the focus of a rigorous 6-year research study. It is one of a series of reports on the Apple and ConnectED research that address different aspects of implementing 1:1 programs that provide each student with access to a technological device.
Launched in 2014, the Apple and ConnectED Initiative has supported 114 participating schools across the country with an iPad for every child. Schools received a host of programmatic support including extensive professional learning opportunities for teachers and leaders, technology infrastructure upgrades, and process management. The initiative and this research are explicitly situated in a diversity of traditionally under-resourced communities, with schools ranging from pre-K to secondary and from the inner city to rural migrant communities to Native American villages.
This report presents findings from the Apple and ConnectED research related to
bridging the technological access divide, which refers to providing technological infrastructure, tools, and support.
bridging the technological use divide, which involves moving from passive consumption to using technology in active creative ways.
This report describes the methodology of Apple and ConnectED Research, a six-year study of the Apple and ConnectED Initiative that uses a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods to tell a comprehensive story of implementation and outcomes.
The Efficacy of Digital Media Resources in Improving Children’s Ability to Use Informational Text: An Evaluation of Molly of Denali from PBS KIDS
Informational text—oral or written text designed to inform—is essential to daily life and fundamental to literacy. Unfortunately, children typically have limited exposure to informational text. Two nine-week randomized controlled trials with a national sample of 263 first-graders examined whether free educational videos and digital games supported children’s ability to use informational text to answer real-world questions. Participants received data-enabled tablets and were randomly assigned to condition. Study 1 found significant positive intervention impacts on child outcomes; Study 2 replicated these findings. Combined analyses demonstrated primary impact on children’s ability to identify and use structural and graphical features of informational text. Results are discussed in the context of the scalability of educational media to support informational text learning.
A pre-print version of the manuscript submitted to the American Educational Research Journal is available on ResearchGate.
SRI Authors Sarah Nixon Gerard, Denise Tunzi, Faith A. Scheibe Abstract State leaders have many opportunities to address the critical issue of family homelessness by supporting collaboration among diverse stakeholders; creating a culture of data sharing that facilitates discussion and action; and enacting policies across departments, agencies, and programs to support FCEH. State-level coordination should enhance and […]
Through the lens of the Apple and ConnectED Initiative, this report asks the questions, what does a promising start look like when you add technology to education and what types of support can enable conditions for success?
Technology, such as iPad™ devices for students and teachers, has the potential to energize classrooms and bring substantially new types of learning opportunities to children of all ages. These changes are not an automatic result of adding technology to education, and they often take place over a long period of time. This report asks the questions, what does a promising start look like and what types of support can enable conditions for success?
We ask these questions through the lens of the Apple and ConnectED Initiative, which has been the focus of a rigorous 6-year research study. Launched in 2014, the Apple and ConnectED Initiative has supported 114 participating schools across the country with an iPad for every student. Schools received a host of programmatic supports including extensive professional learning opportunities for teachers and leaders, technology infrastructure upgrades, and process management.
The initiative and this research are explicitly situated in a diversity of traditionally under-resourced communities, with schools ranging from pre-K to secondary and from the inner city to rural migrant communities to Native American villages. This report focuses on the first year of iPad use across these schools to describe the initial changes that might be expected to appear when sufficient support is in place to lower common barriers to its adoption.
The report describes early implementation in three successive stages:
Access: Many of the ConnectED schools saw daily iPad use across multiple subjects, even early in implementation. This level of use was facilitated by strategic and technical preparation prior to the introduction of the iPad devices, coupled with initial strategies for their instructional application. Daily widespread use demonstrated how universal technology access has the potential to “level the playing field” and broaden students’ horizons.
Integration: In classrooms where iPad use had become the norm, the learning environments looked different from those in typical classroom settings. In particular, iPad classrooms leveraged immediate access to rich information, offered new opportunities for expression, used technology to increase student engagement, and benefited from more organized and efficient workflows.
Innovation: In addition to more active and engaging learning environments, technology is often seen as holding promise to facilitate meaningful changes to students’ opportunities for learning. This study uses a framework for “deeper learning” to describe emerging opportunities for teamwork, critical thinking, and other skills that prepare students for success beyond the classroom. Teacher surveys and a review of lesson plans reveal some initial steps toward deeper learning for a broad range of teachers, particularly in the dimensions of personalization and communication/creation that were most directly enabled by the affordances of the new iPad devices. More advanced opportunities require careful and creative lesson planning, and were most likely to be seen in the classrooms of teachers who held deeper learning as an explicit goal.
Examining the positive effects of educational media on young children’s understanding of science and engineering.
Over 450 children living in low-income households across the U.S. participated in this study, which explores whether providing families with access to PBS KIDS The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! ™ videos, digital games, and hands-on activities can help 4- and 5-year old children learn physical science and engineering concepts and practices.
Getting Ready to Learn describes how educational media have and are continuing to play a role in meeting the learning needs of children, parents, and teachers. Based on years of meaningful data from the CPB-PBS Ready To Learn Initiative, chapters explore how to develop engaging, playful, and developmentally appropriate content. From Emmy-Award-winning series to randomized controlled trials, this book covers the media production, scholarly research and technological advances surrounding some of the country’s most beloved programming.