App of the week: Big Bird’s Words

bigbirdappName: Big Bird’s Words

What is it? The educational team at Sesame Street created Big Bird’s Words especially for young learners, to help build and expand vocabulary. The app’s goal is to get kids excited about learning to recognize and read written text, as they use Big Bird’s scope to look for a special group of high-interest, themed words. Big Bird’s word-o-scope recognizes all kinds of printed words in the real-world environment, using a phone’s own camera and new augmented-reality tech.

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How to use Sesame Street to promote digital literacy

Sesame Street is a pretty awesome show. Not only do I remember loving the show as a child, but as an adult, I now understand how educational it is and how much effort goes into making it so. From counting with the Count von Count to learning about recycling with Oscar the Grouch, there’s a lot of learning material packed into a show that is fun to watch for kids, Edudemic reports. Now, Sesame Street has launched a new multimedia site aimed at improving literacy for young children, and helping families (and caregivers) learn to make the most out of every opportunity for talking, reading, and writing. They cite an interesting statistic as part of the motivation for this project: ‘By the age of four, a child from a high-income family has been exposed to 35 million more words than a child from a low-income family. Low-income children miss out on over 400 hours of literacy-related activities that high-income children experience.’

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‘Sesame Street’ widens its focus

The New York Times reports that on “Sesame Street,” a distressed cow has a big problem. She made it up the stairs to the beauty parlor but now, her bouffant piled high, she’s stuck. Cows can go up stairs, she moans, but not down.  Enter Super Grover 2.0. Out from his bottomless “utility sock” comes an enormous ramp, which, as the cow cheerily notes before clomping on down, is “a sloping surface that goes from high to low.” Simple ABCs and 123s? So old school. In the last four years, “Sesame Street” has set itself a much larger goal: teaching nature, math, science and engineering concepts and problem-solving to a preschool audience — with topics like how a pulley works or how to go about investigating what’s making Mr. Snuffleupagus sneeze…

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