Thursday, September 13, 2018

Our Tech-Driven World Influence On Listening, Language and Learning

Growing Listening, Language, Literacy and Learning in a Tech-Driven World
By Lynn A. Wood MA CCC/A LSLS Cert. AVT
Republished with permission from Hearing First.
Lynn is the owner of the Auditory Verbal Center of Wheaton and the
Program Leader at Hearing First.
 Hearing First supports the families and professionals on the
Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) journey
through Awareness, Education, Education, and Community,
 so that children who are deaf or hard of hearing
 can learn to listen and talk.

Love them or not, app technology is EXPLODING. As of the last reported period, Apple announced that 140 billion apps had been downloaded from its App Store. In July 2017, The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop published findings from a cross-sectional survey of 1,186 US parents with children between 3 and 6 years of age. They reported that regardless of family income almost all young children today have access to mobile devices.  Access to digital media technology is everywhere, so as LSL professionals, we have the responsibility to educate and guide parents/caregivers regarding the use of apps that are appropriate both developmentally and for listening and spoken language learning.
Dr. Roberta Golinkoff, the keynote speaker at the 2017 AG Bell LSL Symposium, warned about “tele-ference", which is when the phone or screens interrupt interactions and learning. We encourage parents and caregivers to incorporate LSL strategies and techniques in daily life and routines. So, it’s no surprise that parents/caregivers benefit from guidance since screens and phones are embedded throughout the day. We can help them become intentional with their own media use and model face to face interactions.
We know that no screen time for infants under two is advised and tablets alone do not promote listening and spoken language in toddlers and older children. A helpful resource from Family Time With Apps suggests three questions for parents and professionals to consider when choosing apps for kids:
1.    Does the app allow the child to learn and grow? This includes building on their interests, age-appropriate content and encouraged engaging in creative play.
2.    Does the app encourage communication? By providing opportunities to talk about the activity and offer ways to create or play together.
3.    Does the app connect different experiences? Examples are bridging activities between places such as home and school and preparing a child for new learning experiences.
Well-chosen apps, along with the Explode The App model that was created and introduced by Dave Sindrey and myself (2014), respond to these same questions. “We believe the best apps are used like picture books, connecting a child with his parent through meaningful conversation and experience. The best times are had when there are three or more hands on the device.” (Lynn Wood and Dave Sindrey)
The Explode The App model provide interactive lessons and tools for professionals and families to facilitate listening, language, literacy and learning in a tech-driven world. Apps are relevant and effective tools to enhance listening, auditory skill development, spoken language, and literacy for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. As LSL practitioners we should be modeling co-engagement and coaching parents to provide meaningful listening and talking experiences while sharing apps to help children build connections and grow their brain for listening and spoken language.
Have you been using the Explode The App resources that are available in the Hearing First Professional and Family Support Communities? ... READ MORE

About Hearing First
The Hearing First website is a multimedia digital experience and connection point designed to link families who have chosen Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) for their children with hearing loss and the professionals who work with them with the resources, information, tools, community and learning experiences they need to ensure the children in their lives succeed. 
Visit or click here to learn about the Hearing First Communities.

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