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Expanding Professional Development With Mobile: Text4Teachers and ELOF2Go
In its third year, NCECDTL has embraced a mobile strategy that offers on-the-go professional development resources designed to support and meet the demands of the infant, toddler, and preschool workforce where they, like many Americans, are spending more time—on their mobile phone.
by Amy E. Pirretti, Director, Project Management for the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning at ZERO TO THREE
The National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning (NCECDTL) advances best practices in the identification, development, and promotion of the implementation of evidence-based child development and teaching and learning practices that are culturally and linguistically responsive and lead to positive child outcomes across early childhood programs. NCECDTL’s work includes providing evidence-informed professional development for the infant, toddler, and preschool workforce and is jointly administered by the Office of Head Start (OHS) and the Office of Child Care (OCC). In its third year, NCECDTL has embraced a mobile strategy that offers on-the-go professional development resources designed to support and meet the demands of the infant, toddler, and preschool workforce where they, like many Americans, are spending more time—on their mobile phone.
Cell phone ownership in the United States is at 95% with 77% of the devices being smart phonesi. Text messaging is still the most used data service worldwideii. Its ubiquity is illustrated with estimates that nearly 90% of mobile plans including unlimited textiii, 99% of texts are openediv, and the average response time to a text is 90 secondsv. The ease of access, scalability, and open and read rates of text messaging make it a critical component of any mobile outreach strategy. Also continuing to grow year after year are the availability, increased number of downloads, and use time of mobile applications and digital media on mobile phones. Mobile users are spending on average 2.3 hours a day on digital media, and studies have found U.S. adults on average use nine apps dailyvi. To that end, NCECDTL has developed a text messaging service that is free to the end user called Text4Teachers to share resources and events (down to the zip code level) and a free interactive mobile application that supports teachers learning about developmental progression called ELOF2Go.
Text4Teachers supports teachers, staff, and others who care for and teach young children in center-based and family child care settings. Sign up to receive two free text messages per month with information, tips, research, and resources to strengthen and support your teaching practices. Text4Teachers will also share messages about key events and professional development opportunities.
Sign up today by texting ECDTL to 22660. Text4Teachers is also available in Spanish (español).
ELOF2GO is a mobile resource for teachers who want to access and learn more about the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework: Ages Birth to Five (ELOF). The ELOF presents five broad areas of early learning, referred to as central domains.
i Available at: http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/
ii Available at: http://www.nielsen.com/content/dam/corporate/uk/en/documents/Mobile-Consumer-Report-2013.pdf
iii Available at: https://instantcensus.com/blog/almost-90-of-americans-have-unlimited-texting
iv Available at: https://www.textrequest.com/blog/complete-overview-business-texting
v Available at: https://www.textrequest.com/blog/texting-statistics-answer-questions
vi Available at: http://www.businessofapps.com/data/app-statistics