Nowadays young children spend a lot of time on smartphones and tablets, even before they start formal schooling. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts were wondering whether the time spent with digital media at home could help in fostering young children’s school readiness.
In the latest research published in the Journal of Children and Media they tested whether an educational app could improve preschoolers’ emergent literacy skills. They asked 4-5-year old children from low income families to use Khan Academy Kids app everyday for 10 weeks. Children used the app on average for 13 minutes per day and seemed to enjoy it. As part of the activities in the app, children learnt letter sounds, spelling words, tracing letters and blending sounds together.
Importantly, children who used the app, improved their emergent literacy skills compared to children who were asked to use an age-appropriate app which didn’t target literacy skills. Results suggest that well designed educational apps could be used as a tool for supporting children’s academic success.
You can find the study HERE