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Early-childhood students, faculty involved in collaborative ‘Early Learning Project’ research

A new research project will give University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students majoring in early-childhood education the opportunity to dive into cutting-edge research exploring the role of digital vs. non-digital media in the lives of young children, their families and those who work with them.

On Wed., October 16th, UW Oshkosh early-childhood  faculty, 20 early-childhood education majors and administrators of early childhood programs throughout the Fox Valley attended an informational kickoff on campus to learn more about the “Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network Early Learning Collaborative” (HITN/ELC).

Dr. Ed Greene, PhD,  HITN/Ready to Learn Senior Director, Educational Outreach and Partnerships, outlined the project, designed to promote the development of literacy, math and English language skill for ages 3 to 4 years old. Participants learned about the educational and instructional relevance of a transmedia approach that included hands-on experiences with tablet-based apps and educational materials.

Wisconsin is  the seventh state to partake in this research project. UW Oshkosh early-childhood professor, Lenore Peachin Wineberg, is serving as the pilot project and demonstration site coordinator on campus.


“Participating in this year-long project will add to the professional development of UW Oshkosh’s early childhood majors’ background in cutting edge technology,” Wineberg said. “The undergraduate education students will participate in this project during their 10-week practicum field placement and receive first-hand knowledge of the theory and the practice involving use of iPads with 3 and 4-year-olds.”

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Five UW Oshkosh-connected sites have been selected to be part of this collaboration, including: UW Oshkosh Child Care, the Wilcox and Peace Head Start program centers and the Tanner Early Learning Center. Each site will receive a “Things That Go PlaySet,” which includes a touch-screen app designed to promote English language development. Participants will also interact with a wide variety of transmedia learning resources aligned to promote the Playground goals.

“This project is a professional learning experience for the early childhood teachers in the five sites who do not have access to the iPads, apps or supporting resources,” Wineberg said. “It is an exciting opportunity to represent the state of Wisconsin, which is the 7th state to be included in this federally funded five-year research project. This involvement will extend professional development to the early-childhood and special education faculty and other educators in the Fox Valley.”

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