Mobile Learning | News

PBS Donates Apps to Lower-Income Communities

PBS and the Center for Public Broadcasting are reaching out to Head Start centers and other organizations in underserved communities with free apps for Apple's iPad and iPod, as part of the Ready to Learn Initiative.

Through September, PBS and CPB will distribute the apps to Head Start, as well as local PBS stations, Title I schools, and other community organizations. The apps selected, All Aboard the Dinosaur Train! for iPad and Dinosaur Train Camera Catch! for iPhone, focus on helping children aged three to five build math skills.

"Public media’s mission is to serve un-served and underserved audiences, especially children," said Debra Sanchez, senior vice president, education and children’s content at CPB in a statement announcing the program. "This unique partnership with PBS and Head Start gives children a new way to engage with trusted public media content through mobile devices--one of the most popular technologies in their lives today."

Recent research highlighted in the same statement points to less access to mobile technologies among lower-income households.

"A growing body of research shows that educational apps can open up learning opportunities for kids, so we are committed to extending the reach of our apps to more and more of America’s children," said Lesli Rotenberg, PBS' senior vice president of children’s media. "Through this new initiative with Head Start, we are taking a step towards helping bridge the achievement gap by offering access to the latest educational media content to kids in underserved communities across the country."

The program is part of the Ready To Learn Initiative, a grant program managed by the U.S. Department of Education that supports the development of educational television and digital media targeted geared toward preschool and early elementary school children.

About the Author

Stephen Noonoo is an education technology journalist based in Los Angeles. He is on Twitter @stephenoonoo.