As digital tools have become more ubiquitous in homes and classrooms, it has become imperative to research the impact of digital media, games, and experiences on young children’s learning. EDC has long been committed to understanding how technology can support early learning.
Since 2006, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has turned to EDC to evaluate the public media system’s signature early learning program, Ready To Learn, a national initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Ready To Learn maintains that public media has the power to improve young children’s school readiness. Our research and evaluation program has been instrumental in helping CPB and PBS develop media-rich literacy and math learning resources that support school readiness in high-need communities.
Our Ready To Learn research responds to ED priorities, contributes to the larger field of children’s early learning, and offers practical information and tools to those working within local communities in the following ways:
- Conducting research—including randomized controlled trials, pilot studies, mixed-methods evaluation, and survey and observational research—to determine the effectiveness of Ready To Learn resources on children’s learning, benefits for parents and teachers, and community engagement
- Collaborating with producers of new children’s media products and services, focusing on the content’s learning potential, appeal, and utility
- Our studies have shown that children exposed to PBS KIDS resources improve in emergent literacy skills—such as naming letters and knowing concepts of story and print—and math skills, such as counting, recognizing shapes, predicting patterns, and problem-solving.
- Our studies have also shown that use of PBS KIDS content across media platforms supports teachers’ confidence as well as family engagement.