Most preschool math, literacy apps not designed to help children learn, UCI study finds

  Most literacy and math educational apps for preschoolers are not designed to help youngsters actually learn, according to a new study from the University of California, Irvine. Few incorporate features informed by evidence-based best teaching practices or age-appropriate in-play guidance. Youngsters under 5 process information very differently from older kids. They have shorter attention spans, less working memory capacity and more limitations in visual interpretation and are also still developing the fine motor skills needed for accurate touch-screen interactions. “More than half of the educational apps on the market…

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Marrying technology and home language boosts maths and science learning

Technology, like mobile apps and online learning platforms, is becoming an increasingly important teaching tool all over the world. That’s also true in emerging markets; accessible technologies can essentially be used to take information and digital resources into remote, rural and under-resourced schools. But is this technology useful if it’s not also provided in diverse languages? In subjects like maths and science, pupils must have a certain level of competency to comprehend and effectively respond to tasks. Extensive research shows how important language is in helping pupils better understand concepts. I set out to evaluate the…

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Positive Parenting: Toddlers learn best with interactive apps

Television, tablets and smart phones. There’s always way to access information. Preschoolers can learn a lot from just a little screen time. But are educational television programs the best forum? What about interactive digital media, like touchscreen apps, with an estimated four million now available to download. A new study explores the science behind parents’ many options. So many “educational” apps, videos and games available and so little guidance. Developmental psychologist Heather Kirkorian and her colleagues reviewed a number of studies to determine if two-year-olds would learn best from interactive…

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A SERIES OF APPS TEACHING KIDS ABOUT FIRE SAFETY THROUGH GAMES

Fire safety and fun are going hand in hand to teach kids about the dangers of fire. All this week is Fire Prevention Week, and with that, the Fire Protection Association is hoping that teachers and educators make use of six apps to teach children about fire safety in a playful and informative way. Sparky is the international mascot for fire safety and Sparky’s School House is a website featuring not just the apps mentioned, but also educational videos, books, and modules for children from Kindergarten to Grade five. The apps themselves…

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Life Lessons: Choosing the right apps for kids

Mobile phone and tablet use by kids under the age of eight is up by 1000 percent over the past several years. With all of those apps claiming to be educational, how can parents recognize the valid apps from plain old digital candy? A new research study provides tips for making the right picks for your children. “Here you have these platforms that are dying for content and the kids are virtually addicted to,” said Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD, a professor of psychology at Temple University in Philadelphia. Even the most…

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Funding winners transform cultural Wonders into educational app

Engaging children in history in a fun way isn’t always easy – but it’s this very challenge that Art Stories creator Federica Pascotto thrives on to bring art, history and architecture to young audiences. The educational app developers won the Europeana Challenge 2016 with the project FACES, in which children became art explorers.They’ve now also won the Europeana #edTech Challenge 2018 for their app Wonders in which children get to explore and learn about different cultural sites by completing various challenges. How did the 2018 Europeana Challenge win contribute to the app’s development? It provided…

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Are educational apps actually helping children learn?

Do educational apps for preschoolers really help them learn? A new study from the University of California, Irvine has an answer. The study’s findings suggest that most educational literacy and math apps are not designed to improve a child’s intelligence. Children under the age of five learn differently and have shorter attention spans than older kids, but few apps are incorporating the guidance to help preschoolers absorb and process information. For three months, co-authors Stephanie Reich and Melissa Callagan evaluated the top 10 paid and free children’s math and literacy apps for…

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Coursera, Notesgen to Google Grasshopper: Top educational apps in India

Internet has been an important tool in smart learning for students across different levels and fields. Now there are dedicated platforms and apps for education available directly on smartphones. Students can find online courses, learning videos, notes, and interact in real-time with teachers through multiple platforms. Here’s a list of the most popular educational apps available on Android and iOS. Coursera  Coursera is one of the biggest platforms for online courses. Founded by Standford professors, Coursera offers online courses from esteemed universities like Yale, Princeton and more. Coursera also specialises…

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Most preschool math, literacy apps not designed to help children learn, study finds

Most literacy and math educational apps for preschoolers are not designed to help youngsters actually learn, according to a new study from the University of California, Irvine. Few incorporate features informed by evidence-based best teaching practices or age-appropriate in-play guidance. Youngsters under 5 process information very differently from older kids. They have shorter attention spans, less working memory capacity and more limitations in visual interpretation and are also still developing the fine motor skills needed for accurate touch-screen interactions. “More than half of the educational apps on the market are for preschoolers, but little…

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Universities launch study into educational apps – by turning lab into a nursery

Parents and nurseries in Greater Manchester are being asked to take part in a study to test the effectiveness of children’s educational apps. Academics from the University of Salford and Lancaster University will spend three years using eye tracking glasses to find out whether the apps, which claim to help young children learn new words, have any effect on language development. Dr Gemma Taylor, a developmental psychologist from the University of Salford, said: “We live in a digital age and children are exposed to screens from very early on in…

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