Toddlers on iPads

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!

Archives of Disease in Childhood, 2018; doi:10.1136/ archdischild-2017-314010

Twomey, D. M., Wrigley, C., Ahearne, C., Murphy, R., De Haan, M., Marlow, N., & Murray, D. M. (2018). Feasibility of using touch screen technology for early cognitive assessment in children. Archives of disease in childhood, archdischild-2017.

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