About this Research Topic
Interactive smart screen devices and their accompanied apps are making their way into schools and homes, and they provide a new opportunity for young children to learn basic skills, such as reading, writing, and mathematics in a fun and engaging way. Devices such as tablets differ from available multimedia technologies such as desktop computers and laptops as they are light and portable, while their touch screen interface abolishes the need for separate input devices. Unlike “traditional” computing systems that require fine motor skills for mouse and keyboard handling, smart screen devices remove this obstacle as they consist of an interactive screen that responds to multi-touch gestures that even children can effectively handle. In conjunction with their multimodal features that elicit young children’s active participation, it is not considered unusual that children around the globe spend substantial amounts of time in some form on a smart device.
Parents and educators have embraced educational apps and app developers are specifically targeting the parents of young children. Nevertheless, the label “educational” or “for children” does not indicate that these apps have been validated for educational purposes. Most of the self-proclaimed educational apps targeting children try to teach only basic skills via rote learning. However, due to the misuse of such educational apps’ multimedia capabilities, they may instead distract young children from the educational process. Many parents and educators often make the error of not choosing developmentally appropriate apps and, therefore, may not fully take advantage of high-quality educational apps.
The aim of this Research Topic is to better our understanding of how smart, interactive technologies and their accompanied apps impact reading, writing, and thinking skills in children from birth up to 8 years old. In particular, we are interested in understanding the role that the self-proclaimed educational apps really play on young children’s learning and development in both formal and informal settings.
We welcome contributions from researchers in psychology, education, and related fields, whose work examines closely the impact of the use of digital devices and accompanied apps on children’s cognitive development.
Areas that might be addressed include:
1) How smart screen technologies and apps influence learning and impact developmental outcomes
2) How children use smart screen technologies and apps at home and their impact on their learning and development
3) How parents integrate digital technologies and apps for their young children in home settings
4) How educators integrate digital technologies and apps in school settings
5) The real value of self-proclaimed educational apps on children’s learning
6) Design and evaluation of apps that promote young children learning and development
To address this topic, we welcome an array of article types:
• Hypothesis and Theory, Methods, Original Research, Review, Systematic Review, Technology and Code, Registered Report
• Brief Research Report, Case Report, Conceptual Analysis, Curriculum Instruction and Pedagogy, Mini Review, and Data Report
Keywords: Mobile Applications, Smart Screen Technology, Early Childhood Education, Child Development
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.