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Knowledge at their fingertips: kids’ learning and playing in the app age


Clear signs are emerging of changes in the ways that the current generation of preschoolers learn and play. These changes are closely linked to their familiarity with mobile devices and the availability of digital resources that support learning by exploring, by manipulating and especially by playing. The trigger for this change is the medium, which is based on direct interaction, bringing new opportunities for learning by doing. At the same time, teachers and parents alike are expressing doubts about whether to use mobile applications (apps) early on and how to choose them. Given the novelty of these tools, research has yet to provide answers to these questions. This contribution examines current studies and pedagogical considerations as a basis for formulating a classification of educational apps, for identifying affordances, and for establishing indicators that guide app choice.


educational technology; technology enhanced learning (TEL); Apps, Children, Preschool, Learning, Choice

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Italian Journal of Educational Technology (IJET) | ISSN (print) 2532-4632 | ISSN (online) 2532-7720