Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

How Kids Use Apps to Get a Feel for Digital Learning


By Andrews Tipp

It’s human nature for children to learn by touch, it helps them associate words with the objects they come into contact with. Many a time you will see a toddler reaching up towards a grownups face mostly out of curiosity for what the object is that is peering down at them.

touch screen for learning

With touch in today’s age, come the wonders of the tablet and smartphone. Android and Apple have a wide variety of educational apps available that teach children many a skill, from counting, to learning about colours and shapes, to even teaching them how to use the potty from the likes of Elmo from Sesame Street.

Why touch is important

As previously mentioned, touch is the first natural thing that children have to associate items with memory, as they cannot talk. With technology advancing so much, it has become a no brainer to turn the power of touch on screens into interactive games and read-along books.

Not only does this give parents a bit of a break from the mundaneness of reading the same story over and over, moving images and animations help children in developing. See what an apple looks like, and the sound taking a bite out of one makes is an easy way for them to associate things, something that can’t be easily put across when being read off of a blank page.

How are developers churning out great apps

Kids nowadays love their TV shows, such as Nickelodeon, CBeebies and the Disney channel, offering hours of programming from the educational to the entertaining. Fortunately for parents (or not so fortunate if the apps content is for sale), are that applications are developed for these brands, in the hope that parents will download their child’s favourite character teaching them how to read or count.

These giant corporations have large budgets, so the productions of the apps are usually of a high quality, with slick animations and voices used from the show to give your kid that unique experience with their favourite characters. This definitely helps in their education; as they would much rather have Mickey Mouse teaching them how to count up to 10 or which colours are which. I know I would have paid much better attention growing up if He-Man had told me “Good job!” when I selected what “10+25” was correctly on an iPad screen.

Great brands equal great content

As long as the big brands are willing to spend some money on apps that allow for education, there will always be a market for developers. Great IP (intellectual property) and big budgets always allow for next level content to be created. Of course, there will be times where the games will cost a pretty penny; take Disney’s Infinity (based on the popular Skylanders video game and collectable figure gaming mechanism). The game will cost you a lot, but will allow for your child to play with very recognisable characters, and also learn things such as collecting and sharing with regards to the physical figurines.

Just a word of warning, you may want to ensure that your devices have some sort of mobile protection, as when they are in the hands of your children, chances are links and apps will be clicked on (even downloaded) when you aren’t paying attention, so rather be safe than sorry. In fact, you should make sure you’re protected against viruses and other digital dangers whatever device you’re using.

safety of tablet devices, mobile protection

As long as tech is moving forward, what with touch screen TVs and motion sensor gaming consoles, touch will always have a role to play – not only in our lives, but in the lives of the next generation. Sooner or later there won’t be a screen a child won’t touch without expecting to get an interactive response.

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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