Finland

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Bill spoke as keynote at ITK 2014, Finland’s biggest tech/ed conference. Following the Finnish Minster of Education – extolling Finland’s growing cloud-based educational services – Bill offered a digital ‘postcard from America’ and spoke about politics, culture wars, as well as trends in educational technology, multi-platform production and media literacy.

Between these two talks, and another to researchers plus a three-hour workshop Finns got a chance to see Plum Landing, Arthur, Peep, Curious George, Poisoner’s Handbook, Design Squad Nation and the Next Gen projects. This caps a year of collaborative projects between WGBH and a number of Finnish universities which has included exchange trips and the demoing and researching of our games in Finland.

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Plum Landing prototypes were part of a presentation by our Finnish research partners from the Universities of Tampere and Jyväskylä.

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Kids play Design Squad Games and Poisoner’s Handbook at a Finnish university open house.

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There’s a lot of singing in Finland. These are the event’s main academic organizers.

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The cloudberry parfait was pretty awesome.

New Research!

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 1.24.53 PMStudy Finds that Use of PBS KIDS Content in the Classroom Improves Early Math Skills in Preschool Children

A new study conducted by Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC), and SRI International found that the acquisition of essential early math skills, such as counting, recognizing numerals, recognizing shapes, and patterning, increased significantly among four- and five-year-old children from economically disadvantaged communities who participated in a 10-week PBS KIDS Transmedia Math Supplement initiative. Transmedia includes the use of familiar characters, settings, and stories across different media formats.

The materials featured videos and interactive content from several PBS KIDS properties, including our very own Curious George Busy Day Games which are also now available in Spanish!.

Key findings of the 2013 Ready To Learn study include:

  • Children who used the PBS KIDS math supplement, which incorporated videos, digital games, interactive whiteboards, laptop computers, teacher support, and hands-on math materials, improved significantly in their understanding of the targeted early mathematics skills compared to the control group.
  • Children who used the same technology without the integrated math materials did not experience the same learning gains compared to the control.
  • Teachers who used the math supplement reported significant changes in their confidence and comfort with early mathematics concepts and teaching with technology.