TinkerStories

The blog

Suprising Perceptions on Parenting and Literacy

I recently attended a community engagement event hosted by the City Department of Human Service. It was a presentation to parents about storytelling. The purpose was to educate parents about the importance of storytelling to one’s children. There were only 6 people in attendance, two with children. I was surprised at how few people there were. At least there were six, I thought.
As we practiced telling stories, I heard some parents complain about not having time to tell stories to their children daily. We’re not talking about reading here, we’re talking about TALKING. The parents in general seemed well educated. I was then astounded that these parents didn’t seem to feel that talking to their children and telling stories was something that they should do often.
Then the jawdropper… One parent, with 3 academic degrees, said, “I don’t want to teach her how to read, she can learn it in school. I’m not qualified to do that. She should just be playing now.” Her child was maybe 3 years old. She was not convinced that teaching her child to read early, or working on early literacy skills was important. She thought it would take time away from play. Looking at the statistics on literacy from the Education statistics from the US Government, it seems that 97% of all children show up in Kindergarten without any idea what literacy is.
I do not have any peers who did not know how to read a single word when they started kindergarten. Maybe some perceptions that can be changed are:
Why not think of reading as play? Why do parents feel they cannot teach their children? Why should parents trust schools to teach the MOST IMPORTANT SKILL, which teaches your child to become an independent thinker? Anyone else think that family (parents) are the best able to teach their children reading AND storytelling?

2 Comments »

Digital Age Learning

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop is devoted to accelerating children’s learning in a rapidly changing world.

I was recently reading their “iLearn II: An Analysis of the Education Category on Apple’s App Store” and came across some very interesting findings related to the fact that apps are an important and growing medium for providing educational content to children. More than 80% of the top Education apps on the iTunes store target children. However (speaking from experience) the educational value of the grand majority of apps are zilch, zero, nada! At best, the apps I have downloaded have entertained and distracted my child… but effective learning? One of the main recommendations from this report was:

Academia needs to address the rapidly growing app market by setting a research agenda regarding digital age learning. Developers and researchers should work together toward the design of effective, high-quality products.

Well, guess what: I know a group at MIT who are doing just that! Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts as we set forth on a journey to bring active-engagement learning to young digital natives across the world!

 

No Comments »

Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, null given in /webroot/t/i/tinke003/tinkerstories.org/www/wp-content/plugins/wp-fb-autoconnect/Main.php on line 226 Warning: array_push() expects parameter 1 to be array, null given in /webroot/t/i/tinke003/tinkerstories.org/www/wp-content/plugins/wp-fb-autoconnect/Main.php on line 232