Screen Time Book Club: Chapters 7 & 8
Thanks everyone! We are rolling through the book! We are getting solid numbers of views on the discussions each week and are happy so many people are reading and thinking along with us. Thanks especially to those of you who have commented on the questions. We would love to encourage everyone again to jump in and add your two cents! None of us are "experts" here, we are just sitting down with the nitty gritty of our daily library lives and thinking through some ideas. We would love to hear what is crossing your mind as you read or re-read these chapters.
This week we are looking at Chapters 7 & 8: Could the Right DVD Teach My Child to Speak, or Better Yet, Become Bilingual? and Can Electronic Media Enrich My Child's Vocabulary?
In Chapter 7 Lisa looks at a case study of a hearing boy raised by deaf parents who mistakenly thought the best language strategy was to not use sign language, and as a result, the language he did learn was largely mediated by TV shows, and of course, was problematic. Lisa writes, "Developmental psychologists and cognitive scientists are starting to discover just how much a person requires real, person-to-person contact to learn language." She talks about a parent who was learning language-prompting techniques to use with her toddler from an educational DVD, and how the impact of that is not from the child watching the DVD, but from the *mom* learning and then interacting in new ways with her child.
This chapter was written in 2007, well before our current touch screen era. In the epilogue, added to the 2012 paperback, Lisa talks about a study that showed that of children who watched a live scenario, a screen scenario, and an interactive screen scenario, the children who saw the live and interactive screen episodes were most able to solve a related puzzle, indicating that touch screen experiences have different learning consequences than passive viewing experiences. I'm curious about what language learning might be like as we continue into the touch screen era. Will children such as the hearing boy in the case study have different opportunities than before? We're already seeing how kids with special needs are able to communicate in revolutionary ways with touch screen devices. Have you seen any research or studies that address interactivity in language learning apps? Are you using touch screens with special needs children in your libraries?
Also, the parents learning parenting strategies from DVDs made me think of storytime. (Yes, pretty much everything makes me think of storytime!) There's a lot of excitement in many libraries about our ability to demo age-appropriate apps in storytimes or preschool tech programs and create just this type of learning opportunity for the parents. If you have shared apps in storytime, do you also share a "tech message" or a reason you like the app you are showcasing? If so, what is the response from your adults? Are they interested? Are they grateful? Do they tune it out? How does this mirror or not any experience you have sharing early literacy messages as a part of storytimes and preschool programs?
In Chapter 8 Lisa talks about research around how and if children do add to their vocabularies by watching videos. At the end of the chapter, she writes, "Kremar and Grela's study...spotlighted two critical factors in using media to expose children to new vocabulary words. First, the media design must emulate the way language is used. The closer the product comes to simulating the way a good nursery school teachers or attentive parents talks to a young child, the better. Linear, straightforward story lines will help. Language should be simple. New words should be repeated often and used explicitly as teaching moments, with their meaning described or displayed on the screen." I think it's clear that the best vocabulary learning comes from direct engagement and conversation with an adult, but again, this makes me curious about apps. What apps do you know meet these criteria? Have you used any of them in storytime?
Ack, this is getting really long and I still want to ask if anyone has had experience with the LENA device? It is designed to record conversations between a caregiver and a toddler, then uses the data to help the caregivers boost their language interactions with their child. The city of Providence is in the middle of a huge project using it.
PS: I have utterly no experience in being bilingual and have very little experience working with bilingual or ESL families. Does anyone with this strength want to talk about second language learning and digital experiences?
OK Melissa is finally over and out!!! :) Your turn!