The Smith Family launches new social media tool to support preschool children
Building on the success of their popular Let’s Count professional development program for educators, leading Australian education charity, The Smith Family, has launched a new tool using popular social media platform Facebook Messenger, to support children in need with emergent maths skills.
The Let’s Count Parent bot is an interactive platform that uses everyday activities and objects to suggest ways in which parents and carers can support their children’s maths learning.
The tool works just like Facebook Messenger, with a series of activities suggested by the bot which the user can weave into their everyday life. These include counting steps on a walk, ordering fruit by weight and comparing street signs.
Joanne Carter, Let’s Count Program Manager, said that while a lack of confidence in their mathematical ability can make it hard for parents to engage with their children on mathematical topics, most parents are confident in engaging with social media, which makes the new initiative a useful way to connect them to their children’s learning.
Let’s Count has helped over 122,000 children since its launch in 2009, with a free professional development program tailored to early childhood educators ensuring the methodology works for children across home and school settings, encouraging children to play with, investigate and learn powerful mathematical ideas.
The program uses everyday activities to help children to notice, explore and talk about mathematics, and The Smith Family is aiming to broaden the reach of the program through the use of social media, with funding from the Bank of Queensland and the Department of Education, Skills and Employment under the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
Further information is available on The Smith Family’s website.