- Video programming can be more beneficial than parents think, but it also tends to help children from high-income households more than those who live in low-income families, according to U.S. News & World Report.
- A 2018 study, "Learning vocabulary from education media: The role of pedagogical supports for low-income preschoolers," details those benefits — though pacing is key, and researchers also found that a third of educational videos didn't teach any vocabulary or selected words that didn't have the most benefit for early learners.
- Videos that are more successful use images and sound that draw children’s attention to the screen, embedding lessons that help children learn.
The idea of playing a video during class is sometimes thought of as an educational cop-out: children tend to fall asleep when the lights grow dim and are often not-engaged. But videos can have benefits, particularly when used to teach languages ranging from Mandarin to English, as programs such as Sesame Street have done for decades.
A 2018 study, published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, notes that certain visual and sound cues helped to deliver language lessons in videos, but students who had more vocabulary under their belts before sitting down to watch the videos got more benefit.
Preschool children often watch these videos at home, which means they have access to the material if it’s not shown on free television channels. Curriculum designers can offset this access inequality by providing time in school for the youngest students to watch videos and shows as they work to boost language skills.