Sesame Street Creates Mobile Vocabulary App

Preschoolers learn vocabulary and concepts anywhere, anytime

Posted Jan 06, 2015

Psychologists have long known that vocabulary was correlated with success in school. After all, a major variable on every standardized test is vocabulary. In very young children, vocabulary development takes the form of pointing and labeling objects. Parents are encouraged to listen to their children and have conversations. This is called speech expansion.

In a new twist on speech expansion, Sesame Street has created an app for iPhones. The app turns into a “wordascope” which is a camera-like device that children can use to track words wherever they find them. For example, a child points the camera phone at the word ‘milk” on the milk carton. This connects the child to a word tree of related concepts such as cow and diary. According to Rowe, the CEO of New York City charter school Public Prep, the app gives preschoolers more exposure to language and concepts which provides the foundation for future learning. Also, because the app is mobile, children can learn anywhere and anytime. I find this use of technology very exciting and hope Sesame Street does follow up studies on its effectiveness. For more information, follow this link: