4 Benefits of Using Apps in Education
Over the past decade, the use of technology in children’s education has exploded, and there are now literally thousands of tablet and smartphone apps created to help kids learn in more interactive and entertaining ways. The debate about using apps for educational purposes is still ongoing, but despite any supposed drawbacks for children, the benefits of using apps for even preschool education are numerous and in some extent proven. Read below to find out more about four.
1. Social Interaction
It may seem counterintuitive, but experts say that apps can be an extremely effective educational tool because they spur engagement between parents and children. According to Rose Luckin, a professor based at the University of London, Preschool or kindergarten age children who complete activities on a smartphone or tablet and then repeat the process to show their parents engage in important “talk time,” which not only reinforces the lesson or skill that they learned but also creates important engagement between parents and their children. The key to taking advantage of the social opportunities offered by mobile apps is to engage with your child while he or she is using it – not to always use it as a babysitter. Or, as Ann Densmore, Ed.D., an expert in speech and language development, puts it: “Good apps or games should facilitate conversation between parents and children during this play, not get in the way of it.”
Studies have shown that mobile apps promote learning because they are entertaining rather than purely educational. Disguising a lesson as a game makes a child more interested in completing it, and it also makes it more likely he will want to engage with it more than once. Also, level-based apps that reward users at the completion of each level provide incentive for learning information and completing tasks correctly. A study show that apps do, without a doubt, enhance learning; for example, the iPhone app “Martha Speaks” increased 3-to-7-year-olds vocabularies approximately 31% over the course of two weeks.
3. Parents and daycare or kindergarten teachers
Children are not the only people who benefit from using apps. In fact, teachers or parents can use mobile learning to free up some of their time. It’s important that tablets and smartphones not become babysitters, and app learning should never replace interactive or engaging lessons. But using mobile apps can free up time for both teachers and parents, allowing them to plan and prepare more interactive lessons in day that is often much too short.
Mobile apps for learning don’t only benefit people – they’ve also been shown to benefit the earth. Mobile learning is much more sustainable than traditional learning, which usually incorporates a lot of paper materials and pencils. Completing a lesson on a mobile app does not require any new materials – just a new download or different app. In terms of saving the world, educational apps are a step in the right direction, and may result in many fewer trees being torn down for paper every year.
Our 100 Things Picture book and Matching Games portfolio of apps are developed to leverage these four benefits. We have taken away distracting ads and in-app purchases and are creating a platform for talk-time and entertainment.