Friday, December 11, 2015
The use of touch-screen tablets at home and pre-school to foster emergent literacy
Young children living in technology-based communities are using touch-screen tablets (e.g. iPads) to engage with the digital world at an early age. The intuitive touch-screen interface, easily downloadable apps (applications) and mobility of tablets drive their increasing popularity with pre-schoolers.
This review examines research to date on tablets, apps and emergent literacy in young children in the home and at pre-school. Evidence is building that suggests tablets have the potential to foster emergent writing and letter knowledge. Although the impact of tablets on emergent literacy is not yet fully known, developing themes highlight potential benefits and hindrances of tablets for emergent literacy.
Two important considerations are the quality of emergent literacy apps and the importance of scaffolding young children's use of tablets at home and pre-school to support emergent literacy development. Directions for future research and recommendations for parents and teachers are discussed.