Evidence of Family Playlists’ Impact on Math Achievement

Evidence of Family Playlists’ Impact on Math Achievement

A 2019 impact study examined the effects of Family Playlists on seventh grade students’ New York State standardized math test scores.

How effective are Family Playlists?

The study found a statistically significant effect on 2018 seventh grade standardized math test scores for students who were assigned Family Playlists as compared to seventh grade students in the prior year who had the same teachers but were not assigned Family Playlists (p<0.001). The effect sizei (Cohen’s d) was .33—which is well beyond the federal What Works Clearinghouse criteria of .25 for a “substantively important” effect—and equates to four months of additional learning.ii

Three important notes: (1) Family Playlists were very early in their development during this study (the 2017-2018 school year was the first full school year of implementation), and a large number of improvements have been rolled out since then; (2) These results demonstrate a big return for a relatively light touch intervention (teachers are expected to assign a Family Playlist at the end of each unit–approximately once every two weeks–and each Family Playlist takes about 40 minutes to complete); and (3) Family Playlists are “additive” because they are a homework intervention that leverages out-of-school time and can therefore be easily layered on top of other academic interventions without a degradation in impact.iii

Who was included in the study?

The treatment group included 132 students from two district-run schools in the Bronx who were in the seventh grade in 2017-18 and whose teachers began assigning Family Playlists for the first time that school year. The comparison group included 150 seventh-grade students who had the same teachers the prior year (2016-17) and were not assigned Family Playlists. This research methodology was developed with input from the Robin Hood Foundation, an early funder of Family Playlists. The student demographics across both schools in the 2017-18 school year were: 66% Hispanic; 30% African American, 7% English Language Learners, 93% student in poverty, and 24% students with disabilities.

What data were used?

The study used student-level New York State standardized math proficiency ratings for the treatment group (2017 and 2018) and for the comparison group (2016 and 2017). Math proficiency ratings are numeric scores between 1.00 and 4.50 that reflect performance on the statewide math exam and can be compared year over year to show growth in proficiency in grade-level standards. We obtained data for all students for whom we had signed consent forms, per Institutional Review Board guidelines.

What kinds of analyses were done for the study?

This study performed an Intent-to-Treat (ITT) analysis, which is considered a more conservative estimate of impact, and included all seventh-grade students who were assigned Family Playlists, regardless of their level of participation. This study used an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), with group (treatment vs. comparison group) as the independent variable, post-test score as the dependent variable, and pre-test score as the covariate.

What is the underlying evidence base for Family Playlists?

Family Playlists replicate the most successful elements of the “Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork” (TIPS) program from Johns Hopkins University, which has shown more positive and frequent interactions between students and their families and better achievement and emotional outcomes over the control condition.iv Family Playlists also leverage the research on the protégé effect (or learning-by-teaching), which has shown that students who teach others have stronger comprehension and recall of the material than students who do not teach others.v Of the learning strategies described in the book “Learning as a Generative Activity: Eight Learning Strategies that Promote Understanding,” learning-by-teaching had one of the largest effect sizes.vi

What is PowerMyLearning’s Strategic Evidence Plan?

PowerMyLearning’s Strategic Evidence Plan (SEP) is a five-year plan to guide our activities around continuous improvement and ongoing evidence building. In Year 1 (2018-19), our primary focus was on understanding the factors influencing teacher adoption of Family Playlists, with the goal of helping us ensure maximum uptake in as cost-effective a manner as possible. As part of this work, we conducted an A/B randomized control trial to test the impact of personalized “nudges” for teachers, and found promising results that are informing development going forward. In Year 2 of the SEP (2019-20), our primary focus will be optimizing the triangle learning relationships between students, teachers, and families by providing additional supports to help teachers implement Family Playlists at the highest levels of fidelity. We will also conduct research with a professor who has expertise on the protégé effect in order to learn how this learning strategy is impacting student achievement. Years 3 through 5 will include additional work around adoption, optimizing the triangle of learning relationships, and optimizing students’ academic and social-emotional learning outcomes.

References

i Cohen’s d is an effect size used to indicate the difference between the mean values of two sets of data— one treatment and one control—and is measured in units of standard deviation.
ii To convert effect size to months of learning, we relied on a toolkit from the Education Endowment Fund (EEF): https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/public/files/Toolkit/Toolkit_Manual_2018.pdf.
iii In “The 2 Sigma Problem: The Search for Methods of Group Instruction as Effective as One-to-One Tutoring” [http://www-inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~cs301/fa14/resources/Bloom_The2SigmaProblem.pdf], Benjamin Bloom wrote about how districts should look for a set of interventions that together can achieve a large impact on student achievement. He described homework interventions as additive to classroom instruction interventions because when these two interventions are implemented concurrently, they have no overlap and add up as expected (e.g., “Homework Intervention” (0.8 SD) + “Classroom Instruction Intervention” (0.7 SD) = 1.5 SD).
iv Voorhis, Frances L. Van. “Adding Families to the Homework Equation: A Longitudinal Study of Mathematics Achievement.” Education and Urban Society, vol. 43, no. 3, 2010, pp. 313–338., doi:10.1177/0013124510380236. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0013124510380236.
v Learning as a Generative Activity: Eight Learning Strategies that Promote Understanding.” https://www.amazon.com/Learning-Generative-Activity-Strategies-Understanding/dp/1107069912.
vi Fiorella, Logan, and Richard E. Mayer. “The Relative Benefits of Learning by Teaching and Teaching Expectancy.” Contemporary Educational Psychology, vol. 38, no. 4, 2013, pp. 281–288., doi:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2013.06.001.

PowerMyLearning in Greater Atlanta Presents Inspire 2019

Inspired to Serve: PowerMyLearning Partners with Several of Atlanta’s Top Companies to Provide Access to Digital Training and Resources to Underserved Atlanta Students

The educational non-profit to host its annual Inspire event, with a goal of collecting more than $250,000 in sponsorships and donations.

Inspire 2019

ATLANTA, Aug. 19—PowerMyLearning in Greater Atlanta is proud to announce the 2019 sponsors for its 12th annual Inspire fundraising event, taking place Sep. 7 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Since 2007, PowerMyLearning in Greater Atlanta has partnered with more than 40 schools to deliver digital training and computer equipment to students in the community, serving more 23,000 children, families, and teachers. Inspire is the premier annual fundraising event for PowerMyLearning.

2019 Inspire sponsors include:

  • GE (Presenting Sponsor)
  • Aarons
  • ATP
  • Infor
  • Georgia Pacific
  • SiteOne
  • The Cumberland Group
  • GasSouth
  • Google
  • Verizon
  • 3i People
  • Accenture
  • CED Solutions
  • CGI
  • GaggleAmp
  • Granite Telecommunications
  • Higher Gear CIO
  • Insight
  • iVision
  • The Judge Group
  • NCR
  • Stratix
  • Tsys
  • VLink Solutions
  • Wipro

The 2019 fundraising goal of $250,000 has already been achieved, thanks to the generous support of these sponsors and other donors. PowerMyLearning is now working toward its stretch goal of $300,000 by the evening of the event.

“What our sponsors have collectively accomplished on behalf of our community humbles our team and strengthens our resolve. We are confident in our mission and our purpose,” said PowerMyLearning Atlanta Executive Director Richard Hicks. “Inspire 2019 is set to be our best event yet, and we can’t wait to share our stories of triumph and achievement to this community of technologists and philanthropists. We are so grateful for all of the support.”

The funds raised at Inspire and through other PowerMyLearning initiatives throughout the year are used to strengthen the home to school connection by providing educational workshops, home computers and technical support to families who might not otherwise have access to technology. Families receive fully equipped laptops and training on digital tools that inspire success beyond the classroom.

James Tidwell’s son Kenneth attends the Hollis Innovation Academy in Atlanta’s historic westside community. The family received a laptop at the family learning workshop hosted by PowerMyLearning.

“Kenneth is taking time to talk more with me about school and showing me things that are going on with his schoolwork,” said Tidwell. “Having the laptop from PowerMyLearning has honestly been a blessing we couldn’t afford otherwise, and it allows him access to the resources he needs to help him with schoolwork.”

Meloni Gray’s daughter MaNiya attends Hapeville Middle School, a Title I school. Gray says the laptop her daughter received through PowerMyLearning has been a huge benefit to her family. “We are now able to complete assignments and communicate with teachers efficiently,” she said. “Before we had to go to the library to work on assignments.”

PowerMyLearning aims to continue its mission of helping students in low-income communities, together with their teachers and families, harness the power of digital learning to improve educational outcomes and inspire a passion for STEM.

For more information, contact Oneisha Freeman, Senior Program Manager at PowerMyLearning Greater Atlanta by emailing ofreeman@PowerMyLearning.org or by calling (404) 367-9990 Ext. 504.

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The Morgridge Family Foundation Donates $125,000 to Help Teachers Engage Families in Learning

The Morgridge Family Foundation Donates $125,000 to Help Teachers Engage Families in Learning

October 9, 2018 | Press Releases

DonorsChoose.org
NEW YORK, October 9, 2018—PowerMyLearning, a national education nonprofit, is launching an exciting partnership with DonorsChoose.org whereby teachers can secure exclusive access to Family Playlists™, a groundbreaking research-based approach to engaging families in learning. Thanks to generous support from the Morgridge Family Foundation, teachers can participate in the PowerMyLearning Family Engagement Innovators Program, a new professional development opportunity focused on Family Playlists, for a fraction of the total cost.

Participating teachers will learn how to strengthen the “triangle” of learning relationships between students, families, and teachers using Family Playlists. As reported in The New York Times, Family Playlists are a mobile-friendly and multilingual innovation that put students in the teacher’s seat at home while driving mastery and social emotional learning skills.

The PowerMyLearning Family Engagement Innovators Program is designed for teachers in grades 3-8, with a particular focus on Math, ELA and Science teachers. In addition to Family Playlists access, participating teachers will receive:

  • Three hands-on online professional development sessions led by PowerMyLearning family engagement experts. Teachers will receive an official Certificate of Completion upon completing all three sessions.
  • A free year-long subscription to the award-winning PowerMyLearning Connect: School Edition platform for the participant AND four additional teachers at the school.

Thanks to the Morgridge Family Foundation’s 5x match, teachers need to raise just a fraction of the total cost to participate in the program. To begin their DonorsChoose.org project, teachers can visit this DonorsChoose.org help center article and follow the listed steps:

  1. Log into org and create a new “Standard” project.
  2. Shop through AKJ Education.
  3. Search for “PowerMyLearning Family Engagement Innovators Program.”
  4. The match offer will apply to the project as soon as it’s approved and live on the site. (Note: only projects exclusively requesting this item will be considered for the match offer.)

“I’m excited about the potential of this opportunity for teachers to start using Family Playlists,” said Carrie Morgridge, vice president of the Morgridge Family Foundation. “The impact of one or more teachers starting this initiative at their school is huge. Providing families with a new way to support their children’s learning and connecting loving family members with dedicated teachers will make all the difference needed to make sure students thrive. It’s bound to catch fire the next year throughout the entire school.”

Educators can create a project through DonorsChoose.org starting on October 9. The Morgridge Family Foundation will donate $125,000, helping to fund over 200 projects. For teachers who complete fundraising by October 31, the program will start in November 2018. For teachers who complete fundraising by December 31, the program will start in January 2019.

Since launching Family Playlists in 2017, PowerMyLearning has seen incredible results at schools and districts nationwide. One teacher who works at a district public school in New York City said, “This school year, the most valuable experience was the implementation of Family Playlists, which united myself, my kids, and their families by a magic bridge. For the first time, learning truly extended from school to my students’ homes.”

About PowerMyLearning

At PowerMyLearning, we believe that students are most successful when supported by a triangle of strong learning relationships between students, teachers, and families. We partner with schools and districts nationwide to transform teaching and family engagement through innovative coaching and workshops, and through our award-winning digital platform, PowerMyLearning Connect. As a nonprofit, PowerMyLearning is especially committed to students from low-income communities, students with learning differences, and English Language Learners. To learn more about PowerMyLearning, visit www.powermylearning.org.

Contact:
Stacey Williams
Managing Director of External Relations, PowerMyLearning
swilliams@PowerMyLearning.org
212-563-7300 x163

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PowerMyLearning Awarded Coveted 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for 11 Years Running and the 2018 Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

PowerMyLearning Awarded Coveted 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for 11 Years Running and the 2018 Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

Sept 4, 2018 | Press Releases

NEW YORK, September 4, 2018 –

PowerMyLearning’s strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, as well as the 2018 Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

This is the 11th consecutive year that PowerMyLearning has earned this top distinction. Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. The Platinum Seal of Transparency is the highest level that an organization can attain on GuideStar, placing PowerMyLearning in front of over 9+ million annual GuideStar visitors.

According to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator, a 4-star rating sets PowerMyLearning apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public.

“It’s important our donors trust that we’re using their donations wisely to accomplish PowerMyLearning’s mission,” said Elisabeth Stock, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of PowerMyLearning.  “Our 4-star Charity Navigator rating demonstrates to our supporters our good governance and financial accountability.”

At PowerMyLearning, we believe that students are most successful when supported by a triangle of strong learning relationships between students, teachers, and families. We partner with schools and districts nationwide to transform teaching and family engagement through innovative coaching and workshops, and through our award-winning digital platform, PowerMyLearning Connect. As a non-profit, PowerMyLearning is especially committed to students from low-income communities, students with learning differences, and English Language Learners.

PowerMyLearning is and has always been committed to following best practices around accountability and transparency, and we will continue executing our mission in a fiscally responsible way. PowerMyLearning hopes that these recognitions from Charity Navigator and GuideStar will reinforces donors’ trust.

For more information on PowerMyLearning’s accolades, please visit PowerMyLearning’s Charity Navigator page and view our Platinum Level Profile on Guidestar.

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PowerMyLearning Presents the 2018 Innovative Learning Awards

PowerMyLearning Presents the 2018 Innovative Learning Awards

June 14, 2018 | Press Releases

 

NEW YORK, June 14, 2018—PowerMyLearning, a national education nonprofit, is pleased to present the 2018 Innovative Learning Awards on June 20 at Chelsea Piers Pier 61 in New York City. Approximately 300 professionals will attend the annual fundraiser to celebrate PowerMyLearning’s mission to strengthen the triangle of learning relationships between students, teachers, and families so every child succeeds.

During the annual gala, PowerMyLearning will pay special tribute to Honorees Michael Poser, CIO of Enterprise Technology & Risk at Morgan Stanley, and Jaime Casap, Educational Evangelist at Google. The organization will also recognize an exceptional student, teacher, and parent.

  • Michael Poser will receive the Visionary of the Year award for his leadership role in promoting broadband access and advocating for closing the digital divide.
  • Jaime Casap will receive the Learning Pioneer award for his active role in evangelizing education through collaboration with school systems, educational organizations, and leaders who build innovation iteration into education policies and practices.

“At PowerMyLearning, we believe that students are most successful when supported by a triangle of strong learning relationships between students, teachers, and families,” said PowerMyLearning CEO and CO-Founder Elisabeth Stock. “This year, we are thrilled to honor Michael Poser and Jaime Casap for their efforts to ensure every child has a strong triangle supporting their learning.”

PowerMyLearning partners with schools and districts nationwide to transform teaching and family engagement through innovative coaching and workshops and their award-winning digital platform, PowerMyLearning Connect.

This year, the organization has much to celebrate, including the success of its latest innovation, Family Playlists. As reported in The New York Times, Family Playlists transform the triangle of learning relationships between students, families, and teachers and drive student mastery and social-emotional learning. After a successful pilot program last school year, Family Playlists are exclusively available on PowerMyLearning Connect: School Edition, the organization’s schoolwide version of its popular platform.

The 2018 Innovative Learning Awards are made possible by a number of strategic partnerships. Sponsors for the event include—

  • Impact Sponsors: News Corp, Morgan Stanley, FJC: A Foundation of Philanthropic Funds, Spectrum
  • Team Up Sponsors: Roch and Carol Hillenbrand, Michael J. Critelli, Goldman Sachs, Capgemini, Dell EMC, Cisco, GFP Real Estate,  Atos, HBO, RTP Technology Corporation, Point 72
  • Platform Sponsors: Capalino + Company, Arent Fox, Wargo French, AWS Financial Services, Daniel Dolgin and Loraine Gardner, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, IBM, NetApp, Cardinal Technology Solutions, Thomson Reuters, Duncan Galloway Egan Greenwald PLLC

About PowerMyLearning

PowerMyLearning is a national education nonprofit that strengthens the triangle of learning relationships between students, teachers, and families so every child succeeds. PowerMyLearning partners with schools and districts nationwide to transform teaching and family engagement through innovative coaching and workshops, and through their award-winning digital platform, PowerMyLearning Connect. As a nonprofit, PowerMyLearning is especially committed to students from low-income communities, students with learning differences, and English Language Learners. To learn more about PowerMyLearning, visit PowerMyLearning.org.

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PowerMyLearning’s Family Playlists Named SIIA Education Technology CODiE Award Finalist

PowerMyLearning’s Family Playlists Named SIIA Education Technology CODiE Award Finalist

May 11, 2018 | Press Releases

Family Playlists earn prestigious recognition in Best Emerging Instructional Technology Solution category

NEW YORK, May 11, 2018 – PowerMyLearning, a national nonprofit, announced that Family Playlists are a 2018 SIIA CODiE Award finalist in the Best Emerging Instructional Technology Solution category. Finalists represent applications, products and services from developers of educational software, digital content, online learning services and related technologies across the PreK-20 sector.

Family Playlists transform the learning relationships between students, families, and teachers and provide a groundbreaking way to drive student mastery and social-emotional learning. After a successful pilot program last school year, Family Playlists are exclusively available on PowerMyLearning Connect: School Edition, the organization’s schoolwide version of its popular platform.

Family Playlists are interactive assignments that are completed by students and families together. When a teacher assigns a Family Playlist, students’ family members receive a text alert in their home language with a link to the activity. After mastering a concept in school, students teach what they learned in class to a family partner using a collaborative activity—this step leverages the “protégé effect,” which shows that students understand a concept better after explaining it to someone else. After completing the assignment at home, family members close the loop and provide feedback to students’ teachers on how well the child understood the concept, allowing for rich family-teacher communication around learning. Teachers can then view reports and determine how to better meet students’ academic and social-emotional needs.

“We are thrilled to receive this recognition from SIIA. At PowerMyLearning, we believe that students are most successful when supported by a triangle of strong learning relationships between students, teachers, and families. I hope Family Playlists can become a new measure of family engagement for schools across the country so we can ensure all students have a strong learning triangle with a supportive adult helping them with their learning outside of the classroom,” said PowerMyLearning CEO and Co-Founder Elisabeth Stock.

The SIIA CODiE Awards are the premier awards for the software and information industries and have been recognizing product excellence for over 30 years. The awards offer 91 categories that are organized by industry focus of education technology and business technology. Family Playlists were honored as one of 152 finalists across the 39 education technology categories.

“I am impressed by the level of innovation and creativity demonstrated by the 2018 CODiE award finalists. These products are opening doors for learners of all ages by developing and utilizing new technologies to respond to student and educator needs,” said Ken Wasch, President of SIIA.

The SIIA CODiE Awards are the industry’s only peer-reviewed awards program. Educators and administrators serve as judges and conduct the first-round review of all education nominees. Their scores determine the SIIA CODiE Award finalists, and SIIA members then vote on the finalist products. The scores from both rounds are tabulated to select the winners.

Winners will be announced during a CODiE Award Celebration at the SIIA Annual Conference & CODiE Awards in San Francisco on June 13.

Details about each finalist are listed at http://www.siia.net/codie/Finalists

About the SIIA CODiE™ Awards

The SIIA CODiE Awards is the only peer-reviewed program to showcase business and education technology’s finest products and services. Since 1986, thousands of products, services and solutions have been recognized for achieving excellence.  For more information, visit siia.net/CODiE.

About PowerMyLearning

PowerMyLearning is a national education nonprofit that strengthens the triangle of learning relationships between students, teachers, and families so every child succeeds. Founded in 1999, PowerMyLearning partners with schools and districts nationwide to transform teaching and family engagement through innovative coaching and workshops, and through their award-winning digital platform, PowerMyLearning Connect. As a nonprofit, PowerMyLearning is especially committed to students from low-income communities, students with learning differences, and English Language Learners. PowerMyLearning has regional offices in New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area, and its programs and services extend beyond those regions in a growing number of national school and district partnerships. To learn more about PowerMyLearning, visit www.PowerMyLearning.org.

About PowerMyLearning Connect: School Edition
PowerMyLearning Connect: School Edition builds upon the organization’s free version of the platform, PowerMyLearning Connect: Basic Edition, which has registered users in 40,000 school communities nationwide. In addition to Family Playlists, the platform offers collaborative features that provide teachers with real-time support to improve their practice. Educators can access on-demand Professional Development Playlists, join colleagues in Professional Learning Communities, and access a shared library of resources. Furthermore, schools and districts can also partner with PowerMyLearning to receive coaching and professional development services.

Contact:

Stacey Williams, PowerMyLearning, 212-563-7300 x163, swilliams@PowerMyLearning.org

Benjamin Price, SIIA, 703-909-4034, bprice@siia.net

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