Thirty years ago an early literacy revolution began, but it didn’t start how you might think. It began with a single computer, well, millions of them to be exact. In 1982, the Commodore 64 personal computer became available to the general public making it affordable for parents, teachers, and schools to integrate technology into learning, including early language and literacy development. Now, preschool and elementary classrooms often include multiple computer workstations logged into early literacy websites, such as StarFall, that teach phonemic awareness, and iPads or Kindles loaded with favorite e-books.

Best practices for using e-books to boost early literacy and language development

Source: Akron Beacon Journal Online

Early childhood researchers continue to learn how to best use the latest technology to impact the early literacy and language abilities of children. A recent study from the University of Akron wanted to see how e-books affected the early literacy skills of at-risk students. For three years, the researchers followed 16 Head Start classrooms in Ohio. Half of the classrooms used traditional books and methods for learning early literacy and language, whereas the other half used e-books. The researchers found that e-books can indeed increase a child’s early literacy and language abilities.

As mentioned on a Kindermusik Green blog post, the researchers found, however, that not all e-books are created equal. They identified three elements that make an e-book more effective for supporting early literacy and language growth:

  1. Like regular books, a good e-book has a beginning, middle, and an end.
  2. A good e-book also allows narration to pause, helping teachers to draw attention to an element of the story without having to start over.
  3. Any images, puzzles, and animations should be relevant to story content

Use music and technology to support early literacy development

Even before the Commodore 64 entered the classroom, Kindermusik International was successfully using music and movement to release a child’s potential. With more than 30 years of experience in early childhood education, we continue to monitor and implement the latest research on how children learn best, including educationally appropriate ways to include digital formats of music and books.

“At Kindermusik, we are educators first, publishers second. We will match the content to the most educationally robust media format,” explained Michael Dougherty, Kindermusik CEO. “As a content creator and curator, Kindermusik must find the best combination of media to balance the educational goals, user experience, convenience and cost. The result will be print ‘and’ digital not print ‘or’ digital.”

Our standards-based early language and literacy curriculum, ABC Music & Me, uses music as the vehicle for learning in preschools, daycares, and public schools while also appropriately implementing technology into the process. We’d love to schedule a demonstration to show you firsthand how to use music, technology, and the latest research to teach children early language and literacy, including at risk students.

For more information about using ABC Music & Me to teach early language and literacy, email us at info@abcmusicandme.com.

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