A Survey to Map Early Literacy Initiatives Assisted by New Technologies

Flickr / Jenny Downing

Flickr / Jenny Downing

A growing number of children across the country are exposed to media and interactive technology on a daily basis, and more and more parents are accustomed to communicating via mobile phones and other tools. Many early learning initiatives are beginning to determine how they might harness these tools to engage with parents, work with teachers, or otherwise augment efforts to help children develop early literacy skills.

Over the next few months, New America’s Education Policy Program and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop are collecting information to create a map of where these programs may be located and how they are going about their work.  This map is part of a broader effort called Map, Link, and Rethink: Early Learning in a Digital Age, which aims to identify, categorize, and examine initiatives underway across the country targeted at supporting young children (ages 0 to 8).  This particular survey is focused on early literacy, and we are asking  early learning programs and literacy programs experimenting with tech tools to complete our questionnaire by March15, 2015.

We invite any program that promotes children’s language development, emergent literacy skills, basic reading skills, or reading comprehension skills to complete this survey. We also encourage you to complete the survey if you are exposing children to specialized vocabulary through a science- or math- focused program. School districts are also encouraged to participate, if the district has a project or initiative that incorporates technological tools to serve families, educators, or young children. We are eager to hear from you!

The data collected from the survey will be analyzed and depicted on a free interactive map to be published this summer.  It is intended to help policymakers and educators become aware of the challenges and benefits of using various types of new technologies in diverse settings, and to jumpstart conversations about what research is needed to determine what works. The project was born in an early childhood working group meeting at the Clinton Global Initiative America in Denver in 2014 and was announced during presentations at the White House event on “Bridging the Word Gap” and was highlighted as an upcoming project at the White House Summit on Early Learning later that year. Map, Link, and Rethink is funded by the Alliance for Early Success.

If you have questions about this survey, please review our FAQs. And if you have any further questions, please email Shayna Cook: cook [at] newamerica.org.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this survey and we look forward to hearing about all of the literacy initiatives across the country that are utilizing technology. If you are interested in reading more about our analysis of technology and reading, visit Seeding Reading: Investing in Children’s Literacy in the Digital Age page, at EdCentral.