News Article

Digital Media and Early Science Learning

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Digital apps, games, and videos hold great potential to support early science and engineering learning for young children. But until now, there’s been little research on the real-life impact of using those media tools. Can children’s experiences in a digital environment lead to real-world science and engineering learning? New research shows they can.

n a study titled Early Science and Engineering: The Impact of The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That! on Learning, researchers from EDC's Center for Children & Technology and SRI International conducted a randomized trial of children’s use of digital media from PBS KIDS The Cat in The Hat Knows a Lot About That!™ program. They found that tablet-based games and videos, as well as embedded guidance for how to do hands-on science activities, had positive effects on children’s physical science knowledge and their ability to engage with science and engineering practices.

“Parents have a lot of choices, and a lot of questions, about which types of educational media their young children should use,” says EDC’s Megan Silander, who led the research. “This study shows media can help young children learn important science concepts and practices. Most exciting, the findings help us better understand effective ways to get children from low-income families doing and learning science at scale and at a relatively low cost.”

Click here to read more about the study, and to download the full report.