Do dvds really improve learning in infants
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Do Dvds Really Improve Learning in Infants?. Shawree Melton. Now more than ever, parents are buying DVDs that are suppose to help a child learn, but do these DVDs really work?. Table of Contents: Examples of Learning Systems Why do Parents Buy these Systems? Popularity

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Do Dvds Really Improve Learning in Infants?

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Do dvds really improve learning in infants

Do Dvds Really Improve Learning in Infants?

Shawree Melton


Do dvds really improve learning in infants

Now more than ever, parents are buying DVDs that are suppose to help a child learn, but do these DVDs really work?

  • Table of Contents:

  • Examples of Learning Systems

  • Why do Parents Buy these Systems?

  • Popularity

  • Professionals Don’t Support the DVD’?

  • Parents Overreact to the DVD’s

    • Misattributing Normal Development

    • -Infants Have Basic Knowledge

  • Increase In Children Watching TV

  • Experiments

    • DeLoache et al (2010)

    • Courage and Setliff (2010)

    • Carlson and Strattman (2008)

    • Robb et al (2010)

  • Summary


Learning systems

Learning Systems


Why do parents buy these systems

Why do Parents Buy These Systems?

  • Systems keep child intrigued so parents can do normal day-to-day tasks such as chores or taking a shower.

  • Parents who work don’t have enough time to teach their children, so videos help.

  • When children are upset, not feeling well, etc., systems are used to help change the child’s mood or keep them occupied.


Popularity

Popularity

  • These systems have exploded on the market and have made tremendous amounts of money

  • For example, in 2005, Baby Einstein sold over two hundred million dollars worth of products (Robb et al., 2009).

  • It is estimated that by 2003 one in every three American children have watched a Baby Einstein video (DeLoache & Chiong, 2009) and this industry has become a multimillion dollar industry.


Professionals don t support the dvds

Professionals Don’t Support the DVDs

American Academy of Pediatrics has stated strongly that children under the age of 2 should have no exposure at all to screen media (DeLoache &Chiong, 2009).   This stance by the Academy of Pediatrics makes sense. Although it is a convenience for parents to put on a DVD so the child's attention is captured, this means that infants are not interacting with the world around them.

 Why?


Parents overreact to the dvds

Parents Overreact to the DVDs

Misattributing Normal Development for Learning?

Infants Already Have Basic Knowledge

Researchers have done experiments on newborns and found out that they already have some knowledge like adults and older children have. For example in the experiment, “How Abstract Can Infants Get”, researchers found out that newborns already process abstract numerical representations at the start of infancy (Izard, Sann, Spelke, & Steri, 2009).

  • In early development there is a phenomenon called “word spurt”. This is when a child has a rapid increase in word production around the age of two. I wonder if technology, baby media, is better suited to help increase a child’s education or if human interaction is best.


Increase in children watching tv

Increase in Children Watching TV

  • Children are now watching TV now more than ever. In the article, Babies and Baby Media by DeLoache and Chiong (2009) they give specific data on how much children watch TV. They wrote:

  • “Today, American Children age 6 months to 6 years spend on average an hour and half of watching TV. Sixty-one percent watch some form of media everyday and forty-three percent have a TV set in minutes watching TV and thirteen minutes watching DVDs. Fifty-six percent watch TV every day and nineteen percent have a TV in their bedroom”. 

  • This is in stark contrast to data recorded in the 1970’s that showed that children were not exposed everyday to screen media until age 2 and-a-half years old. With this increase in screen media viewing are children really benefiting from the new programs?


Experiments

Experiments

DeLoache et Al.

The being shown a set of replica objects tested the infants.  (An object that represents the one featured in the video). The experimenter would name the target and ask them to point to the right object. The ones that the child could not identify became the child’s set of target words.

The final testing was used to determine how much word learning had taken place over the four weeks. The testing was done in the exact same way, except this time two trials were given to each of the child’s trial words. The child had to know the word both times that it was presented to be credited in knowing the word.

The results from this experiment stated that only the parent-teaching group was above chance. The children who had exposure to the video either with a parent or with no parent, did not learn any more new words than children who had no exposure to the video at all. It was also seen that this was not due to the children not paying attention to the video. Overall performance was significantly highest in the parent teaching condition.

Results also showed that parent’s assessment of how much their children learned from the DVD was not related to their children’s performance on the post-test. This means that children whose parents believed that their child learned a lot from the DVD did not perform any better than children whose parents did not think that. However, there was a correlation between parent’s own likings for the DVD. The more a parent liked the DVD, the more he or she believed that the child learned from it.

This experiment shows that children between the age of 12 and 18 months do learn very little from a video that is suppose to help them learn and it also shows that parents may misattribute their child’s normal development to the exposure of the DVD.

  • These researchers tested whether children learned from these DVD’s and whether parents overestimated how much their children learned from them.

  • This particular experiment that involved a best selling commercial DVD  that was marketed to infants twelvetwelvemonths and up. There were seventy-twoseventy-two infants in this study who were between the ages of twelve and eighteentwelve and eighteen months. There were three experimental conditions in this particular research.

  • Two of the experimental conditions involved two video conditions. One video condition was video with interaction with a parent, and the other video condition was video with no interaction. In both of these conditions parents played the DVD in their homes for four weeks, and both had a total of ten ten or more hours of viewing. In the third condition, the parent teaching condition, the infants were not exposed to the video at all. Instead the parents received a list of twenty-fivtwenty-five words  and were instructed to try and teach their child as many words as possible.

  • At the initial home visit the children were tested for knowledge of thirteen thirteen of the twenty-fivetwenty-five words that were on the video. Which resulted in an individualized set of target words created for each child.  Which one?


Courage and setliff 2010

  • A pretest was given to all infants using picture cards to test the infants’ receptive vocabulary. These cards included some from the baby media called Bee Smart and Brainy Baby Left Brain Products.  Parents also had to fill out a questionnaire of the viewing time their child watches TV, favorite TV shows, daily amount spent with books, and favorite non-TV activities. From there, three groups were assigned. One group was the DVD group. The DVD group was instructed to watch a ten minute portion of a DVD six times during the week without any parent interaction. The second group, the book group, was asked to read the book to their child the same amount of time as the DVD book. The parents were not to make any extra comments during the readings. The third group was the Control Control GroupGroup. They did not receive the book or the DVD. (These sessions, DVD and book, were recorded so that researchers could see if parents followed the instructions.).

  • Each of the four weeks, new vocabulary was introduced and the children were tested on the previous vocabulary for that week. Results showed that Bee Smart faired better compared to Brainy Baby Left Brain products, but overall, a greater gain was made by the book group. The two greatest vocabulary gains were made by the two youngest participants in the book group and most of the children in the DVD experiment made only minimal gains of vocabulary words.

Courage and Setliff (2010)

Investigated the attention getting, attention holding, and the implication for learning from video material. They examined previous studies and compiled information base off of the research. Attention getting is defined as “the process that determines whether and how quickly infants orient to a stimulus that has been detected”, and attention holding is, “process that determines the duration that they look at the stimulus once fixated”. This paper states that infants will orient to screen media because the movement and sound can be detected by their peripheral vision and hearing. Therefore these DVDs do grab the attention of infants.

Knowing that the DVDs do grab the attention of the babies I wondered that maybe these babies were too young to fully understand. I thought this because as previously stated “word spurt”, the rapid acquisition of words, occurs around the age of two. Therefore I looked for a study that included children around that age.

I came across a study by Carlson and Strattman, (2008) that involved twelve children age one year to two and-a-half years old. This study was done like previous mentioned studies. This study was also a four-week study done in the homes of the infants. In this study DVD viewings were compared with the effects of being read a book using the same vocabulary.


Carlson and strattman 2008

Carlson and Strattman (2008)

  • nvolved twelve children age one year to two and-a-half years old. This study was done like previous mentioned studies. This study was also a four-week study done in the homes of the infants. In this study DVD viewings were compared with the effects of being read a book using the same vocabulary.

  • A pretest was given to all infants using picture cards to test the infants’ receptive vocabulary. These cards included some from the baby media called Bee Smart and Brainy Baby Left Brain Products.  Parents also had to fill out a questionnaire of the viewing time their child watches TV, favorite TV shows, daily amount spent with books, and favorite non-TV activities. From there, three groups were assigned. One group was the DVD group. The DVD group was instructed to watch a ten minute portion of a DVD six times during the week without any parent interaction.

  • The second group, the book group, was asked to read the book to their child the same amount of time as the DVD book. The parents were not to make any extra comments during the readings.  Are these a part of the Baby Einstein product line?

  • The third group was the Control Control GroupGroup. They did not receive the book or the DVD. (These sessions, DVD and book, were recorded so that researchers could see if parents followed the instructions.).

  • Each of the four weeks, new vocabulary was introduced and the children were tested on the previous vocabulary for that week. Results showed that Bee Smart faired better compared to Brainy Baby Left Brain products, but overall, a greater gain was made by the book group. The two greatest vocabulary gains were made by the two youngest participants in the book group and most of the children in the DVD experiment made only minimal gains of vocabulary words.


Robb et al 2010

Robb et al. (2010)

  • Robb et al., (2009), did an experiment that tested the relationship between infants watching a learning DVD and how it affected receptive and expressive language. In the study receptive language is the comprehension of language while expressive language is the word production. (Research says that word comprehension comes before word production). This experiment contained children between twelve and fifteentwelve and fifteen months and they were randomly assigned to which a DVD called Baby Wordsworth. Just like the experiment that DeLoache et al. (2010) did, this experiment also took place in the home of the child so that the results are generalizable to all children around the same age.

  • After two weeks and five exposures to the DVD, results showed that there was no increased growth on either outcome. The experiment controlled for age, gender, cognitive developmental level, income, and parent education. The only significant predictor were the amount of time children were read to.


Summary

Summary

  • Overall, this website shows that the most effective way of increasing a child’s vocabulary is through human interaction. This new technology, Baby Media, should not be used as a substitute for parent to child teaching and the new systems are tools to just capture the child’s attention when the parent needs to perform or do something and cannot focus on the child at that moment.

  • From the results of the experiments, I believe that parents contribute normal child development to these new baby medias. Children all learn to talk and walk around the same age and research showed that as newborns we already have some knowledge just like adults and older children have. If the systems could do something out of the ordinary like make newborns talk then I would believe the systems have a profound effect. Based on evidence it seems that if parents want to have a smarter child then spend more time teaching them whether that is by reading or flashcards. This new technology wave of baby media does not compare at all to human interaction.


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