Media, Literacy, and Preschoolers

According to a recent survey by Common Sense Media, children under eight-years-old view content on mobile devices for an average of 48 minutes per day. Researchers also found an increase in the amount of quality content available for preschoolers to view. In a recently-published paper called, Kevin Wong, an adjunct instructor from NYU, identified existing educational media accessible to low-income preschoolers. "If the quantity of media consumption is not going down, then our goal is to see what the quality [of media consumed by preschoolers] looks like," explains Wong. "There are so many programs out there that are saying they are educational for kids—like us, buy us or watch us because we are educational. But what does educational really mean?"

Wong's team reviewed 4,600 pieces of media that could be accessed through tablets or mobile devices since many low income families have at least one smart phone at home. The team then ran random samples of the content to learn how many new vocabulary words viewers were exposed to and how the show aimed to teach children those terms through character dialogue. Overall, 66 percent of media that was labeled as educational taught students new vocabulary words, an increase from other studies in the past. However, Wong's team found that many of the words were too simple for the target age group—meaning students wouldn't necessarily be prepared for first-grade or kindergarten just by streaming videos.

EdGate provides correlation services to many publishers of early childhood education programs ensuring that the curriculum actually does align to standards. Please contact us to learn more about early childhood education standards, such as the Head Start Standards.

By: Alex Alo
Project Manager