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Assessing the educational potential and language content of touchscreen apps for preschool children

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Assessing the educational potential and language content of touchscreen apps for preschool children. / Taylor, Gemma; Kolak, Joanna; Norgate, Sarah H. et al.

In: Computers and Education Open, Vol. 3, 100102, 31.12.2022.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

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Taylor G, Kolak J, Norgate SH, Monaghan P. Assessing the educational potential and language content of touchscreen apps for preschool children. Computers and Education Open. 2022 Dec 31;3:100102. Epub 2022 Aug 18. doi: 10.1016/j.caeo.2022.100102

Author

Taylor, Gemma ; Kolak, Joanna ; Norgate, Sarah H. et al. / Assessing the educational potential and language content of touchscreen apps for preschool children. In: Computers and Education Open. 2022 ; Vol. 3.

Bibtex

@article{edaceffe843b4f4da1bfc1c7ef5abff9,
title = "Assessing the educational potential and language content of touchscreen apps for preschool children",
abstract = "Touchscreen apps have the potential to teach children important early skills including oral language. However, there is little empirical data assessing the educational potential of children's apps in the app market or how apps link to theories of cognitive development to support learning. We compared popular children's apps with a learning goal (N=18) and without (N=26) using systematic evaluation tools to assess the educational potential and app features that may support learning. We also transcribed all utterances in the apps that included language with a learning goal (N=18) and without (N=12) in order to compare a number of psycholinguistic measures relating to accessibility of the language. Apps with a learning goal had higher educational potential, more opportunities for feedback, a higher proportion of ostensive feedback, and age-appropriate language to support learning and language development. Thus, we argue that selecting children's apps based on the presence of a learning goal is a good first step for selecting an educational app for pre-school age children. Nevertheless, app developers could do more to promote exploratory app use, adjust content to a child's performance, and make use of social interactions with characters onscreen in their apps to enhance the educational potential. Children's apps could also make better use of feedback to ensure that it is specific, meaningful and constructive to better facilitate learning.",
keywords = "Early years education, Cognitive development, Touchscreen apps, Digital media, Language development",
author = "Gemma Taylor and Joanna Kolak and Norgate, {Sarah H.} and Padraic Monaghan",
year = "2022",
month = aug,
day = "18",
doi = "10.1016/j.caeo.2022.100102",
language = "English",
volume = "3",
journal = "Computers and Education Open",
issn = "2666-5573",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Assessing the educational potential and language content of touchscreen apps for preschool children

AU - Taylor, Gemma

AU - Kolak, Joanna

AU - Norgate, Sarah H.

AU - Monaghan, Padraic

PY - 2022/8/18

Y1 - 2022/8/18

N2 - Touchscreen apps have the potential to teach children important early skills including oral language. However, there is little empirical data assessing the educational potential of children's apps in the app market or how apps link to theories of cognitive development to support learning. We compared popular children's apps with a learning goal (N=18) and without (N=26) using systematic evaluation tools to assess the educational potential and app features that may support learning. We also transcribed all utterances in the apps that included language with a learning goal (N=18) and without (N=12) in order to compare a number of psycholinguistic measures relating to accessibility of the language. Apps with a learning goal had higher educational potential, more opportunities for feedback, a higher proportion of ostensive feedback, and age-appropriate language to support learning and language development. Thus, we argue that selecting children's apps based on the presence of a learning goal is a good first step for selecting an educational app for pre-school age children. Nevertheless, app developers could do more to promote exploratory app use, adjust content to a child's performance, and make use of social interactions with characters onscreen in their apps to enhance the educational potential. Children's apps could also make better use of feedback to ensure that it is specific, meaningful and constructive to better facilitate learning.

AB - Touchscreen apps have the potential to teach children important early skills including oral language. However, there is little empirical data assessing the educational potential of children's apps in the app market or how apps link to theories of cognitive development to support learning. We compared popular children's apps with a learning goal (N=18) and without (N=26) using systematic evaluation tools to assess the educational potential and app features that may support learning. We also transcribed all utterances in the apps that included language with a learning goal (N=18) and without (N=12) in order to compare a number of psycholinguistic measures relating to accessibility of the language. Apps with a learning goal had higher educational potential, more opportunities for feedback, a higher proportion of ostensive feedback, and age-appropriate language to support learning and language development. Thus, we argue that selecting children's apps based on the presence of a learning goal is a good first step for selecting an educational app for pre-school age children. Nevertheless, app developers could do more to promote exploratory app use, adjust content to a child's performance, and make use of social interactions with characters onscreen in their apps to enhance the educational potential. Children's apps could also make better use of feedback to ensure that it is specific, meaningful and constructive to better facilitate learning.

KW - Early years education

KW - Cognitive development

KW - Touchscreen apps

KW - Digital media

KW - Language development

U2 - 10.1016/j.caeo.2022.100102

DO - 10.1016/j.caeo.2022.100102

M3 - Journal article

VL - 3

JO - Computers and Education Open

JF - Computers and Education Open

SN - 2666-5573

M1 - 100102

ER -