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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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.
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).
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.
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.