I saw this article in The Star yesterday. The article is about a group of children in a remote village in Ethiopia who have been given tablet computers loaded with educational apps. The goal of this project is to find out whether children in remote places could learn how to read using technology without schools or teachers. It made me think about the “Hole in the Wall” educational project I’d heard about last year.
What were the results?
“What I think has already happened is that the kids have already learned more than they would have in one year of kindergarten.” – Matt Keller, head of the Ethiopia programme.
Yes, the children could learn on their own. Even though none of the adults in the village could read, the children were learning how to read and spell through the use of the tablet technology. One boy even figured out how to turn on the camera function of the tablet (which had been disabled to save memory) on his own.
There is no denying that tablet technology has changed the speed at which young children can learn. I have also seen this with Hercules and Aristotle when they use the iPad. They have learned so much through its use that I find it hard to deny them the use of this piece of technology as a learning medium.
Of course, like everything else in life, there must be moderation. A child needs other experiences as well – particularly physical ones in this day and age of sedentary lifestyles and increasing obesity – therefore there must be a balance to it. Since time is an important factor, we should make sure that the apps our children play with are worth it. Just as well that I received this handy list of 50 educational apps for your iThing.