Weekly Reading Reflection – Week 9

Learning: Is that an app for that? Investigations of young children’s usage and learning with mobile devices and apps by Cynthia Chiong & Carly Shuler

iLearn II: An Analysis of the Education Category of Apple’s App Store by Carley Shuler

I think that it is obvious to those of us with any iPad, iPhone or any level of technology are aware of the explosion of technology and technology related tools, applications and accessories. “Apps for young children are the most popular age category (58%) exceeding apps for adults by almost 20%. Adults are the second most popular age category (40%) followed by elementary (19%) and middle school (18%). High school was the least popular age category (10%) (Shuler 2012). Both reports (listed above) seems to provide plenty of details about app usage share the level of ability that children have in using the apps on smart phones, what types of apps are used, what role parents take in facilitating use of smart phones but the report does not really explain why parents choose to allow children to use smart phones as a means of occupation or entertainment. Certainly there are other means of engaging children such as books, toys and conversation. Why are parents choosing smart phones over these other ways? Are apps taking over the role that televisions formally had in child-rearing?

General early learning apps seem to be the most popular category of apps, with STEM apps in a close second. Why are these apps the most popular? Is there a correlation between age/grade of user and purpose? I seem to notice a recurring theme in much of the readings regarding the different forms and tools of technology and their use with children in and out of learning environments. They must be carefully selected, monitored and properly supported by teachers/adults.

Interactive whiteboards, interactivity and play in the classroom with children aged three to seven years by Alex Morgan

“There are contrasting opinions concerning the relationship between ICT, play and learning for children of this age (Morgan 2010).”

I found this study to be a curious inclusion to our reading this week. The study looked at how IWBs are being used but the findings are not meant to be conclusive. We use them in our classroom much in the same ways that are used in the study, primarily in the lower elementary classrooms. While I think all classrooms can benefit from IWBs, I think there is a particular appeal with the little ones. Overall, I think the key to usage of IWBs is appropriate, limited and planned usage.

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2 thoughts on “Weekly Reading Reflection – Week 9

  1. I agree mobile devices have replaced traditional family meetings, television and sharing meals with families. I feel parents give their children mobile phones but, sometimes fail to set boundaries assuming that all is well and that children are receiving educational content. In some cases it may be true but, I have witnessed more children with cellphones using them for games, social media sites or for YouTube videos some good and often times not so good guidance is key.

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  2. I agree with your comments about IWBs. It was interesting to read about the negative thoughts about this resource. I don’t know what I would do without my Smartboard! With that being said, I also know that I can’t rely on the Smartboard for each and every lesson taught throughout the day. Just like with anything else, balance is key. I think this understanding was lacking from the study we read about this week. It’s not meant for all lessons and activities. When we use this tool, our intent needs to be purposeful, and we need to think of the ways to keep students engaged as well.

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