Initiated by WKAR Public Media and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University (MSU), the PBS KIDS Playtime Pad Research Project is a unique partnership connecting PBS and PBS KIDS content, researchers in the College of Education at MSU and teachers and families in the Lansing School District. The Project investigates the effectiveness of tablet-based learning initiatives in early childhood math literacy, while providing access to the latest digital learning tools for students, teachers and parents.
WKAR Public Media, along with MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences and the Lansing School District identified a real need for good research in the early elementary age group and in an urban district like Lansing. With 24% of 3rd grade students reading at a 3rd grade reading proficiency and 9% of Lansing students at math proficiency, the need for a research and engagement project like this was imperative for academic and intervention purposes and to help teachers make learning more effective and engaging for kids. With these PBS KIDS Playtime Pads, kids will come to school ready to learn.
The Research Project investigates the effectiveness of tablet-based learning initiatives in early childhood math literacy while providing access to the latest digital learning tools for students, teachers and parents.
A true collaborative effort, initiated by WKAR Public Media and the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University, the Playtime Pad Research Project is a unique partnership. Through a multi-year research project, kindergarten students across the Lansing School District will each receive a tablet to be used in class for math-based games and exploration. Researchers at Michigan State will study how the tablets are used and effects on learning.
The tablet students receive is a PBS KIDS Playtime Pad, designed to bring interactive educational children’s programs and learning tools to young students using PBS KIDS learning initiatives. The PBS KIDS Playtime Pads used in the study are customized to include a special Math Games Study app designed by PBS KIDS software developers in consultation with early childhood education researchers at MSU.
Each of the 17 schools in the district is a Title I school, receiving federal funding to support at-risk students. As of November 2017, over 1,000 students were enrolled in kindergarten classes in the district and each received a PBS KIDS Playtime Pad as part of this series of studies.