"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Friday, December 5, 2014

Texting Helps Young Children Read

Yes, the title is misleading. But it is no different from the title of the news article in Ozy. At least, the title can perhaps draw your attention. A different title which states more clearly what the research finding is about may not be as attractive.

Above copied from Ozy
The above news item shares the results of a study performed by Stanford researchers, York and Loeb:


During a week, parents receive three text messages. On Monday, the message is a "fact" text, which usually describes an opportunity to help a young mind develop a skill necessary for learning. On Wednesday, the message is a "tip" text, which provides a parent a simple lesson or activity that is related to the "fact" described in the previous message. And on Friday, a "growth" text" is delivered, which gives an extension of the lesson or activity. Here are specific examples of text messages shared by York and Loeb in their paper:


Here is another example:


Obviously, texting here is simply used as a medium to increase parental involvement in the education of a child. Texting allows for frequent messaging. This can be easily orders of magnitude more frequent than parent-teacher conferences. The messages are short and the likelihood that these would get the attention of parents is quite high. And the results are significant. As the above abstract states, learning gains of 0.21 to 0.34 standard deviations are observed. These improvements are equivalent to hiring stellar teachers (84 percentile or above) in all kindergarten classrooms. Parental involvement makes a huge difference in the early years.






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