SCSD Faculty and Student Paper Gets Published in the Early Childhood Education Journal

School of Communication Science & Disorders Assistant Professor Dr. Mollie Romano along with students Diana Abarca and Katherine Perez recently had their research published in the Early Childhood Education Journal.

The publication, The BabyTok Project: Examining the Feasibility and Acceptability of a Light-Touch Social Media Project for Infant–Toddler Teachers, describes the use of a social media project for infant-toddler teachers that used TikTok to share information about early language development and how teachers can support it with the babies in their rooms.BabyTok Project on TikTok.

“We wanted to explore whether teachers thought the approach was fun and functional and if they learned new strategies as a result of the project,” says Dr. Romano. “Infant-toddler teachers are not often engaged in research, so this was an exciting way to reach these very busy and very important caregivers!”

Student authors Kathy Perez and Diana Abarca played an instrumental role in the research for this project. Kathy led the initial data coding and conducted literature reviews on the use of TikTok for educational purposes. Diana conducted the integration of findings across the quantitative post-test survey and the post-interviews. Other Master’s students were part of the development team for the videos as well (graduates Megan Cabana, Grayce Hoskins, Tyra Ivy and Anna Libbey).

“It feels surreal to have our work published in the Early Childhood Education Journal,” says Kathy Perez. “Coming out of grad school, you read all these research articles and never imagine being part of one. As a team, we collectively poured our efforts into this research— from its theoretical origin, logistics, data collection, and reflection— so seeing it through to its final product is worthwhile.”

“Being able to assist with this project has introduced me to this idea of “light touch interventions” and has made me think about their utility for the specific populations of families on which my research centers,” says Diana Abarca. “Getting to be a part of this paper, and the additional iterations of this study that we are working on now, has been really fun and has taught me a lot!”

Dr. Romano says, “We are so excited to see it in print, and we hope that others read it and enjoy considering new approaches to sharing information with infant-toddler teachers in an engaging, easy-to-access way.”

To view the @BabyTokProject on TikTok, click here!