NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: ED567485
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Using Digital Media at Home to Promote Young Children's Mathematics Learning: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial
Silander, Megan; Moorthy, Savitha; Dominguez, Ximena; Hupert, Naomi; Pasnik, Shelley; Llorente, Carlin
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
Persistent inequalities in the academic learning trajectories of underserved students have led to a growing interest in interventions for young children who are at higher risk for academic difficulties later on. This study's primary goal was to understand how the integration of video, computer games and associated hands-on activities impacts children's mathematics learning. Specifically, the study sought to identify and describe: (1) how children and families engaged with the selected intervention resources in their homes; (2) how use of public media resources influenced children's knowledge of target mathematics and Approaches To Learning (ATL) skills; and (3) how use of these resources influenced parent/caregiver attitudes and beliefs. The study took place in homes in the New York City and San Francisco Bay areas. Researchers recruited children and families from local preschools serving children and families from low-income neighborhoods. The study sample included 197 4- and 5-year old children. These children attended 14 preschool centers in the New York metropolitan and San Francisco Bay areas, and were identified by their families as proficient in English. In addition a child's caregiver(s) needed to be proficient in English, Spanish, Mandarin or Cantonese to participate. The intervention centered on PEG+CAT, a PBS KIDS transmedia program, and was implemented over a 12-week period. The intervention was a designed series of 12 approximately 30-minute opportunities for children and their families to engage and interact with PEG+CAT episodes, video clips, online games, a tablet-based app, and print activities. Study materials allowed children and families to engage with the same characters, settings, and narratives on multiple devices. The study used a randomized controlled trial, two-condition design in which participating families were randomly assigned at the child level either to (1) a PBS KIDS treatment group or (2) a non-treated Business As Usual (BAU) comparison group. Families who were assigned to the PBS KIDS group were provided with technology resources (an Android tablet and a Chromebook laptop), a curated PEG+CAT experience, and supports for joint engagement. Participants in the BAU group were asked to continue with their typical home behaviors with regard to children's technology and media use. Children who participated in the intervention exhibited improvements in ordinal numbers, spatial relationships, and 3-D shapes compared to children in the BAU condition. No differences were found in teacher ratings of ATL or math concepts and problem solving between the two groups. Parents and caregivers in the intervention condition reported a higher frequency of joint parent-child technology use, more joint gameplay, and more conversation connecting digital media and daily life than did BAU caregivers. This study documented how engagement with public media resources had measurable positive effects for children and their caregivers living in underserved communities. The study examined how a curated set of PEG+CAT videos, video clips, and digital games were taken up by families in home environments, and how the use of these media supported both positive mathematics learning outcomes in children and positive attitudes towards technology, mathematics learning, and technology as a tool for promoting mathematics learning in parents/caregivers. Two tables and a figure are appended. [SREE documents are structured abstracts of SREE conference symposium, panel, and paper or poster submissions.]
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: California (San Francisco); New York (New York)