The Stack Archive News Article

IBM and Sesame Street pilot vocabulary app

Wed 7 Jun 2017

Sesame Street

IBM and Sesame Street have announced the successful completion of a pilot program to test a cognitive vocabulary learning app built on the IBM / Sesame intelligent play and learning platform.

The platform, created on the IBM Cloud, leverages the decades of research and experience of Sesame Workshop’s early childhood learning program combined with the cognitive power of IBM Watson.

The vocabulary app, which was tested during the pilot at the Gwinnett County Public Schools in Georgia, includes educational videos and word games featuring beloved characters from Sesame Street. This is the first of many apps that will be built on the new platform as a result of collaborative efforts between Sesame Workshop and IBM.

Six classes of kindergarteners were given the opportunity to use the vocabulary app on classroom tablets, engaging with technology aimed at enhancing the development of each child’s vocabulary. It received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both teachers and students involved with the pilot program.

The platform allows teachers to create an individualized, interactive program for each child using a secure dashboard included with the app. Teachers monitor the progress of each student in real time and can adjust the curriculum based on individual needs.

Harriet Green, GM of Watson IoT, Customer Engagement and Education, said that together, IBM and Sesame believe that the application of cognitive computing in education “can enhance and spark excitement for learning in children everywhere.” She noted that with the new app, teachers can gain insights to the vocabulary development of each student, and create a personalized learning experience for each child.

The vocabulary development app is the first product to be released as the result of the partnership between IBM Watson and Sesame Workshop, first announced in 2016. The three-year agreement will continue to draw on IBM technology and Sesame Workshop expertise in early childhood learning to develop intelligent play and learning apps targeted at preschoolers.

Future projects expected to be developed through the partnership of IBM and Sesame Workshop will expand learning beyond the school environment, designed to engage children outside of the classroom with play centered on literacy, school preparedness and emotional learning. These products will use the cognitive capabilities of IBM Watson to create individualized learning experiences for each child, depending on skill level and personal preferences.


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