A study administered by PBS KIDS through a grant from the Department of Education found that educational apps can improve vocabulary acquisition in children by as much as – get this – 31% within 2 weeks.
The study was very straightforward: 90 school children aged 3 to 7 were each given an iPod Touch loaded with the app Martha Speaks Dog Party, which introduces 36 vocabulary words through 4 games. On average, each child spent 2.5 hours using the app across 2 weeks. The 31% improvement was evidenced by test score differences of a vocabulary test taken before and after the 2 week trial.
I think the main reason educational apps work so well as teaching tools is simply because they are fun. When using such apps, children don’t think they are learning math or science – they think they are playing games, and that’s what keeps them engaged. It’s like using Wii to get people to exercise.
As a side note, I recommend checking out apps by PBS KIDS because they tend to teach subjects using characters that children are familiar with, such as Curious George and Arthur. Fun stuff!
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By the way, our game Sea & Match just got featured on Apps4Kids! Go Kiddology!