The Association for Psychological Science highlights recent data shared by researchers on evaluating children’s apps. This publication “Putting Education in ‘Educational’ Apps: Lesson From the Science of Learning” by researchers Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Jennifer Zosh, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, James Gray, Michael Robb and Jordy Kaufman presents an approach to examining apps which builds on the work of the Science of Learning.
According the APS, “The authors present four principles, or ‘pillars,’ that lead to a more effective educational experience: active involvement, engagement, meaningfulness, and social interaction.” From the research, authorspoint out that:
Not all apps will necessarily incorporate all of these four pillars, but those that do (i.e., those that promote active, engaged, meaningful, and socially interactive experiences) are more likely to lead to significant learning. This is especially true when such apps are embedded in an educational context that, either through app design or through the child’s environment, supports scaffolded exploration, questioning, and discovery in relation to well-defined learning goals.