Brain Training For Tots

With technology advancing so fast its not hard to believe that a research team evaluated the performance of babies on a touch screen. The researchers used an educational cognitive assessment application called Babyscreen and evaluated how many items were completed, how fast the items were completed, and how accurate their results were. The toddlers were divided into two groups by age, 24-29 months and 30-36 months. Only 9% of all the children had never used a touch screen device before this study.

The researchers found that over 90% of all the toddlers were able to complete selective attention tasks on the touch screen without a visual demonstration, and differentiation between the two age groups was found. For the working memory items, slightly more of the older children were able to complete more items without a demonstration. The toddlers repeated these items multiple times and even though all the babies became faster and more accurate with their results, the older group still performed better. For hidden object retrieval items, the two age groups preformed very similarly, but the older group had very slightly higher completion rates and much faster completion time on a single question. Object permanence task items showed a bigger gap between the two age ranges with 49.1% of younger toddlers and 64.9% of older ones completing the tasks without demonstration. The older group finished in a much faster time the in the second trial. This study showed that with little help toddlers are able to learn on their own using a touch screen device! With this information, more baby-friendly and early learning apps can be developed to further education in toddlers and babies!

MBJ

Check out the original research:

doi:10.1136/ archdischild-2017-314010

2 Responses to “ Brain Training For Tots”

    Karen

    So, this is a good thing? As a kindergarten teacher, I’ve seen the recent, rapid decline in social and developmental skills in young children. Many incoming students’ fine-motor development is at a 3-year old’s level (touchscreens don’t take ‘muscle’) The demand for formal speech services for children has exploded because kids aren’t being talked to or expected to respond (devices take the place of human interaction). Socialization skills– making friends and sharing–are harder for kids today. (Kids can live a reclusive life with devices to entertain them). I haven’t even begun to express the impact on attention-span and the unwillingness to complete a task without constant accolades (the reward sounds that just about every app has trains kids to demand instant gratification.) Our giants in the tech world brag about the addictiveness of these devices among their peers, yet keep them from their own children. Such hypocrisy. [Who funded this study?] If you want to see a slice of real life and of our future in America, which is scaring many of us dedicated teachers to death, step into a Title 1 Kindergarten today. A fourth of the class can’t sit still, even for brief periods. Body/space awareness is absent for many. Watch a kid rock back and forth, wailing “my phone, my phone, my phone,” as he goes through withdrawal. There’s no humor in a child identifying only one alphabet letter–“Netscape” (i.e., ‘N’). Or kids who can’t count even 3 objects. But every single one of these kids can outmaneuver many adults on an iPad or phone. How very sad.

    Reply

      Terissa Miller, MS Psy

      Karen –
      Personally, I quite agree with you! As a mom of nine kids, ranging in age from 25 to 7, I have witnessed the exponential increase in “tech savvy” among my children…with quite a few frustrating downsides. Most parents don’t have the bandwidth or determination to fight the screen-time battles needed for appropriate creative and cognitive development – and teachers are often paying the price, just as you outlined. As the managing editor of Modern Brain Journal I strive to offer a balance of research news, from a variety of perspectives. And I absolutely welcome valuable feedback such as you posted. Keep it coming, and lets continue the conversation!
      – Terissa Miller

      Reply

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