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Connecticut Families Extra: Text Alerts; an A+ way to learn

Connecticut Families

A sudden chime or beep from your phone. It’s an interruption that can actually keep your day on track.

Now, new research shows certain text messages are helpful for families. Noah goodman is an educational researcher studying the bilingual family program Cyberchase: Mobile Adventures in STEM, based on the animated PBS Kids series.

“Each week they get a text message on their phone and that text message has links to videos and activities,” Noah Goodman from the Education Development Center said.

For six weeks, 95 families got the instructions for environmental and science projects, everything from monitoring home water usage to making crafts from recycled materials. Parents told researchers that getting videos and activities through text messages made it easy to engage in fun projects with their kids.

“They always had the phones attached to their hips, so they always knew where to find the activities,” Goodman said. “They didn’t have to keep track of any paper or anything like that.”

In another study, researchers evaluated Ready4K, an eight-month-long text messaging program for parents of preschoolers. Parents received specific activities that could improve skills and be part of the daily routine, like pointing out the first letter of a child’s name on signs and in magazines. Giving parents the tools to teach language or learn about the environment.

In the Ready4K study, researchers found that children whose parents received the texts with specific tips were more motivated to complete the tasks and their children scored higher on an early literacy assessment.

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