Frequently asked questions
1. How do I start scrapbooking?
It’s easy! Just click "My Scrapbook" to open the KidTalk app, sign the research consent form, and start recording. A copy of the consent form can be found here. Also, here’s a copy of our 1-page Quick Start Guide. If you are troubleshooting specific functions, please drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you! A copy of our consent form and IRB approval letter can be found here for your reference.
2. What will I do in this research study?
This is a project to understand how COVID-19 is changing children’s learning environments. We would like you to record what your child says and answer questions about your family. You will also have a chance to help write down what was in your recordings and make guesses about what other children are saying. You can do all of this or none of it, and you can spend a few minutes per week or many hours per week. Any and all contributions would be really appreciated.
We also designed KidTalk to be useful for you. What you or your child says may seem random or silly right now, but they will bring back memories in the future. KidTalk allows you to search recordings by who said it, who was there, and what was said so you can revisit your child saying the same words at different ages. You can also share your scrapbook with friends and family who cannot easily hear your child’s voice during social distancing. We are regularly adding new features including ways to download your scrapbook onto your computer.
3. How will you maintain my confidentiality?
KidTalk is strongly committed to maintaining the privacy of our families. Our goal is to ensure that families have full control of how their information is used and shared at all times. We will not sell data under any circumstances, and we are committed to preventing unauthorized disclosure.
4. How will my recordings help research?
We will combine your information with those of many other families to identify patterns in how COVID-19 policies (e.g., school closure, social distancing, stimulus checks) impact children. This is important because all families are facing enormous stress right now, and this changes how we interact with each other. This crisis also affects families in different ways, and if we understand this more precisely, we can develop better ways to support parents and children during similar situations in the future.
5. How will this research benefit me?
The study is not designed to help you personally. However, you’ll be able to make a scrapbook of your child’s speech, which you can keep. Many parents find it rewarding to track their child’s development and nostalgic to hear their child’s “little voice.” This research will inform educators and policymakers and lead to policies to support families facing short- and long-term adversity. You will get updates on this research and learn about the science of language development.
6. Who can participate?
COVID-19 is impacting all families in some way, and our goal is to understand these effects. Our target age is families with children ages 1 to 8 years, since this is generally when noticeable changes in speech occur. But we know that language development is a lifelong process, and welcome participation from families with children of all ages!
Also, we want families of all languages and multiple languages to participate. Right now KidTalk is written English only, but we are currently working on translating our surveys, consent form, and instructions to make it more accessible to families from all backgrounds.
Finally, COVID-19 impacts are global. Since we are based in the US, we are focusing recruitment on families who live in the US. However, we hope this project gains traction internationally, and are excited to collaborate with researchers from other countries to study COVID-19 impacts around the world.
7. My child has, or may have, a medical condition or participates in speech therapy. Can we still participate in KidTalk?
Yes! We welcome all children to participate in KidTalk, including children with autism, speech delay, or other diagnoses. By participating in KidTalk, you help us ensure that our participants reflect the diversity of the children who will hopefully benefit from this research.
8. What’s the future of KidTalk?
We are constantly rolling out new features. Right now, your recordings are saved inside the KidTalk app, but we are working on ways to archive your scrapbook onto your computer. We are also working on features to allow users to tag recordings with what language is spoken, which will be useful for multilingual households. We are leveraging advancements in software to automatically transcribe recordings into text, which will make your scrapbook easier to search and enjoy. Finally, we are a work in progress, so if you have any ideas about features to implement or bugs to fix, please contact us.
If you're interested in supporting KidTalk beyond data collection, please check out our “How Can I Help?” page for more information and specific action items. Also, please follow us on social media and share this information with families who might be interested in scrapbooking.