Classroom Technology Report Roundup

Research Report: Digital Learning

By Sarah D. Sparks — January 05, 2016 1 min read
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Toddlers are becoming adept at using touch-screen technology associated with smartphones and tablets in ways that could help educators assess early skills, according to a new study in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Deirdre Murray, the principal investigator of clinical investigations at the pediatrics department of Cork University Hospital in Ireland, surveyed families of 82 children ages 1 to 3 on technology use.

More than 80 percent of parents reported they had touch-screen devices, and 9 out of 10 allowed their toddlers to use them. About two-thirds of parents had downloaded apps specifically for their children.

Moreover, Murray found the majority of toddlers who used the phones and tablets on average 15 minutes a day could swipe, unlock the screen, and actively search for features like a specific app by age 2. Moreover, a third of the children could perform those skills and also identify and use specific touch-screen features like an app or a camera by 29 months old.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 06, 2016 edition of Education Week as Digital Learning

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