"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Does an app do a better job than books and people?

Sent to the Daily Bulletin, Pomona, CA, April 27, 2016

The Early Learning Literacy App: Is it worth it?

Pomona Unified "is helping low-income preschoolers bridge ‘30-million word gap’" (April 24) with a commercial product from Footsteps2  Brilliance, The "Early Learning Literacy App". The app contains stories, songs and games and claims to develop literacy in young children.
Not mentioned is the consistent research finding that a print-rich environment with old-fashioned books, people who will read aloud to children, and free time for pleasure reading produces fantastic results in literacy development, including vocabulary development. 
On their website, Footsteps2 Brilliance describes a study in which literacy app students made better gains than untreated comparison subjects, but there is no evidence that the literacy app does a better job than real books and people.

Also not mentioned is the fact that the app costs between $250,00 to $350,000 per district. This information is also not included in the Footsteps website: I found it in an article in the Boston Globe.

Stephen Krashen

Original article: http://www.dailybulletin.com/social-affairs/20160424/how-pomona-unified-is-helping-low-income-preschoolers-bridge-30-million-word-gap

Boston Globe article: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/regionals/north/2013/10/12/young-malden-students-get-into-reading-with-footsteps-brilliance-literacy-program/y8HYokGXsprKOO3OwbejcP/story.html

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