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Callaway Digital Arts and HITN Address National School Readiness Achievement Gap with Apps for iPad and iPhone/iPod Touch
Jun 17, 2011 (12:06 PM EDT)


Inaugural Meeting of National Advisory Board Presents Findings on How Preschoolers Interact with Digital Media

NEW YORK, June 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Learning Applications Media Partnership (Project L.A.M.P.)—a collaboration among Callaway Digital Arts, the Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network (HITN), and the Michael Cohen Group, LLC—held the inaugural meeting of its National Advisory Board in Washington, D.C. to review Callaway's initial iterations of its first transmedia learning application for iOS, discuss findings from the Michael Cohen Group's recently completed study on how children interact with and learn from iPads, and plan national outreach to low-income communities. The meeting was facilitated by HITN's Chief Academic Officer and former New Mexico Secretary of Education, Dr. Veronica C. Garcia, who has been nationally recognized for reform efforts to close the achievement gap.

As part of the "Ready to Learn" program, Project L.A.M.P. partners and the National Advisory Board are working with the U.S. Department of Education to ensure more young children have the math and literacy skills they need to succeed in school. "Callaway feels a responsibility to bring the advantages of highly engaging learning app content empowered by touch-screen technology to children who are at risk for being left behind well before their first day of school," said John Lee, President of Callaway Digital Arts.

The Project L.A.M.P. National Advisory Board, a panel of experts from the fields of literacy, math, English Language Learners, technology, and community engagement, lend their experience to guide the project and provide regular and timely advice on the development of Project L.A.M.P. products. The advisors include:

  • Dr. Dorothy Strickland—National Institute of Early Education Research
  • Dr. Carole Greenes— Practice, Research and Innovation in Mathematics Education (PRIME) Center
  • Dr. Linda M. Espinosa—University of Missouri, Columbia
  • Alex Chisolm—Learning Games Network
  • Dr. Ed Greene—Teachscape

The full list of advisors, their affiliations, and related links can be found at www.projectlamp.org.

In an effort to understand how children interact with and learn from touch-screen devices, Project L.A.M.P.'s researchers from the Michael Cohen Group, LLC are conducting a series of formative evaluations. In a recent study, the researchers exposed children ages two through eight and their caregivers to the iPad and selected apps in order to understand their appeal, resonance, and usability. "Findings indicate that young children quickly learn to use touch screen technology and apps," said Dr. Michael Cohen, President of the Michael Cohen Group LLC. "The new touch screen technologies combined with quality content offer an extraordinary opportunity to engage children through educational media. iPads engage very young children, offering access with a sense of independence and the possibility of mastery as well as the opportunity to explore and learn more complex, abstract and novel games as their skills improve."

Also under Project L.A.M.P., HITN is developing apps and other new media intended to support English language acquisition among preschoolers whose primary language is Spanish. In addition, HITN is organizing extensive outreach programs to reach the project's target audience and ensure sustained engagement with parents and caregivers when the first apps launch this fall 2011. "HITN has a 25-year history of connecting and serving the Hispanic community, particularly those who would benefit by increasing their educational attainment and those who educate early learners in home environments. We take pride in continuing to serve our community, especially English Language Learners," said HITN CEO/President Jose Luis Rodriguez. "HITN is committed to utilizing all of its national distribution resources to reach the widest possible audience, but particularly those families and children who have the greatest need."

Callaway Digital Arts (CDA) publishes innovative children's and lifestyle applications for Apple's iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch devices. Funded in August 2010 with an investment from Silicon Valley's Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, we create meaningful digital experiences that transform the way families connect with media and with each other. With a grant from the Department of Education, CDA is also reinventing learning by creating a platform that builds reading and math skills for children ages two through eight. Our apps have reached the number-one spot in Books and have been featured as App of the Week and among Apple's Best Interactive Story Apps of 2010. For more information on CDA, visit www.callaway.com.

The Michael Cohen Group (MCG) is a research and evaluation firm with extensive experience with children, youth, and families in the areas of education, child development, media, marketing, and strategic communications. Engaged in applied research, scientific evaluation, and knowledge-based consulting, the firm's professionals represent the social sciences, including education, child development, and psychology. MCG has been privileged to conduct research with children, parents, and educators in more than 70 countries. Our explorations of families, schools, and communities have helped businesses, governments, and foundations solve existing problems and identify new opportunities. MCG is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in Canada and Europe.

Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network, Inc. (HITN) was established in 1983 as a nonprofit organization. HITN's mission is to advance Hispanics by providing engaging, educational entertainment that empowers the community to serve as an ever-growing engine of intellectual power and progress. HITN-TV is the first U.S.-owned, non-commercial, Spanish-language, media company delivering educational programming to more than 36 million homes nationwide on satellite and cable, focusing on Health, Financial Literacy, and Education. HITN is also the largest holder of Educational Broadband Spectrum (EBS) in the U.S., supporting the next generation of wireless broadband networks and creating new opportunities to deliver educational content and connect communities. Visit us online at http://www.hitn.tv/.

SOURCE HITN-Hispanic Information Telecomunications Network