2018 NETA Awards - Community Engagement Based on a LOCAL Initiative 

From: WKAR 

Project Budget: $195,500.00

Contact: Timothy Elkins

The Playtime Pad Research Project investigates the effectiveness of tablet-based learning initiatives in early childhood math literacy, while providing access to the latest digital learning tools for students, teachers, and parents. Initiated by the College of Communication Arts and Sciences and WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University, the project is a unique partnership connecting PBS and PBS KIDS content, researchers in the College of Education at MSU, and teachers and families in the Lansing School District.

What Did the Judges Say?

For WKAR as a university licensee at a research-based institution, this is an excellent example of partnering with the experts and utilizing the best of PBS and public media. Results from this multi-year project will benefit both organizations (and the greater good.) It also brands WKAR as an education ambassador in this college community.

This new partnership involving all levels including PBS KIDS to create apps for MSU research was fantastic. Very ambitious project and highly successful.

The strategy and execution was impeccable. There was a considerable budget for this project: the solid funding sources that were secured for this project indicate to me that a rigorous review will take place on every dollar spent.

The donation of Playtime Pads is impressive. The large-scale effectiveness of getting this nearly $200K project developed, funded, and begun cannot be understated. Multi-year research for future of education and learning via this format is important for educators across the nation and world to know.

Coordinating and utilizing the multi-disciplinary teams at a large research-based university is no small task. This is the perfect example of a collaborative approach to outreach by partnering with the university, PBS KIDS software developers, educators, and the school district.