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Children’s Gadgets: Smartphones and Tablets

by Heejung An, Melissa Morgenlander, and Holly Seplocha
September/October 2014
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/childrens-gadgets--smartphones-and-tablets/5021965/

Due to recent innovations in digital technology, thousands of young children including preschoolers and kindergartners now have the opportunity to use a wide range of tools, ranging from smart phones to touch pads, both in the classroom and at home. Many parents readily provide iPhones or iPads to their children for games or for educational activities, whether to help them learn or to pacify them. In recent years, various public schools have also begun incorporating these devices into their curricula. In many learning environments, such as the Chicago Elementary Public Schools, students are now using iPads regularly during daily classroom learning as well as for formative assessments, to improve student performance, and engagement.

Even though there is not a great deal of research on the impact of these devices on children's learning, iPhones and iPads equipped with applications, otherwise known as "apps," purport to be educational, tend to keep children occupied, and appear to help motivate children to learn. The popularity of these devices also continues to grow. For instance, it was indicated that more than 9.9 billion apps have been downloaded for free or sold via the iTunes store as of January 2011 (Apple, 2011). In particular, the development of ...

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