How Can Technology Help in Education
In a recent editorial published in JAMA Pediatrics, Radesky and Christakis write:
To be sure, it is important to understand that not all electronic toys—or for that matter apps—are the same, and content drives both the experience and the outcomes. For example, a randomized trial of Bedtime Math, an app that is intended to improve mathematical skills, showed benefits in first-grade students. Notably, the app is structured to promote parent-child interaction and provide a narrative with which to discuss simple mathematic problems. In other words, it drives triadic attention between child, device, and caregiver. Such content and formal feature design elements are important to the educational potential of digital play and need to be a new industry standard. Any digital enhancements should serve a clear purpose to engage the child not only with the toy/app, but also transfer that engagement to others and the world around them to make what they learned meaningful and generalizable. Digital features have enormous potential to engage children in play—particularly children with a higher sensory threshold—but it is important the child not get stuck in the toy/app’s closed loop to the exclusion of real-world engagement. Bells and whistles may sell toys, but they also can detract value.In the above paragraph, Bedtime Math is highlighted. Bedtime Math is an app that delivers a short math story or problem on a daily basis. The following is an example:
WHY DID THE CHEETAH CROSS THE BRIDGE?
The key here is that the story or problem is sent to a parent or caregiver. Math then becomes an interaction between an adult and a child. Berkowitz and coworkers have examined the effectiveness of this app and their results are published in the journal Science. And their findings are summarized in the following figure.
|Above copied from Berkowitz, et al. Science