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How might technology assist in equipping low-income parents with tools and information to help their children meet developmental milestones and read on grade level by the end of third grade?
In 2012, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center and the New America Foundation are partnering to produce a scan of new technologies that are available to educators, parents and young children that may have some bearing on early literacy achievement. One motivating force behind the project is the importance of the context in which technologies are used and the extent to which digital media may or may not prompt parents to engage in language-rich conversations with their children.
The project is proceeding on two tracks. We are scanning and analyzing products (apps, ebooks, games and websites) that companies are marketing as literacy-focused. And we are seeking out examples of models, interventions and programs that employ technology in reaching educators, parents and/or children, particularly those in disadvantaged circumstances. This slideshow presents some early findings from our scans of the marketplace and interviews with leaders in early literacy programs around the country. The second stage of our project, to come this fall, is a published analysis with expanded materials available online for wider national dissemination.