Tablets Help Children Learn…Kind of


Jenny Reese


            The product that I have chosen is a LeapPad. This toy is basically a simpler version of a tablet. One that a child can use. This product looks like a tablet but with green, white, and black being the colors of the tablet instead of just being all black or all white. The LeapPad has a few buttons on the left and even has a camera on it. These LeapPads are targeted toward the ages 2-9 years of age. This LeapPad does a variety of things a child can search the internet in a child safe way. It has the options to buy apps and games to add to the tablet. These apps and games are learning based, so a child can learn a variety of different things. These LeapPads claim to help a child to love learning. This will also help them to learn who to read, write, and learn a about basic math.

The reason I chose this was because my niece has always been so fascinated by my mom’s iPad and from a very young age she has tried to figure out how it works. By the time that she was 18 months she knew which apps were the ones that she liked to play with. The only thing she didn’t know was the numbers to get into the iPad. The fact that she could figure it out before she was two made it that much more fascinating. This made me wonder if this would be the same with all children in the future.

We have also have become more reliant on technology. It will probably be more so in the future when my generation starts to put their children in schools to learn. This will be the way of the future. Seeing as there are a lot of programs springing up that are focused on learning using a tablet. As these programs go on and more evidence springs up in support of using technology it will be more likely that parents and schools will use technology to help children learn and develop.

Research on this topic has just started to pick up in the recent years. Most of these types of studies have to do with the learning in the class. Not many of them have study the effects of using a tablet in the home to learn about writing and reading. One study that I found was done on just the topic of using a tablet in the home to learn. The goal of this study was to see if there was a connection between the use of a tablet in the home would help with the comprehension of letters, sounds of letters, and the ability to learn how to write.

They study this using a correlational study. The participants were English speaking children between the ages of two to four years old who are from the middle SES range. There was a total of fifty-seven children in the study: twenty-nine girls and twenty-eight boys. They asked the children to say the name and sound of the letter that was randomly shown. The child was also to report the name of the numerals that was presented. On a sheet of paper, they were asked to write each letter with a pencil. Children were then asked to provide the phoneme of 10 words. Then using a storybook, children were asked ten questions. They then had the parents of the children to complete a home questionnaire about use of a table at home for writing games, and reading games.

The findings showed a positive association between tablet writing at home and print awareness, print knowledge, and sound knowledge. However, non-digital writing activities showed positive associations with emergent skills. Based on the present finding and other observational work it is possible that tablets have the potential to be effective writing tools for children. No relationship occurred between tablet typing and emergent literacy. The present study showed that children who played with more apps at home such as literacy, writing, and gaming apps had greater print knowledge. The findings in this study show that home environment provides opportunities for children to explore print via digital tools. Home tablet writing was positively related to print awareness, print knowledge, and sound knowledge. Tablets may be a useful tool to engage pre-school children in writing at home. Pre-writing activities have the potential to lead the development of reading and writing skills and even digital skills. All in all, there is a positive relationship between tablet writing in the home and emergent literacy. Questions have now arisen about the use of apps and table writing activities affect the development of emergent literacy. This subject however, needs to be studied further.

Based on this research the only real effect tablet use makes is through using it for writing activities in the home. The LeapPad can add apps that can help the child write on this child friendly tablet. This part of the LeapPad can help a child to learn, but this is not one of the main features that are represented in the advertisement. The advertisement claims that it will teach a child to learn, however based on this study unless it the use of hand writing feature of the LeapPad then it may not have the desired effect that parents would want.

All in all, the LeapPad may help with the ability to learn. The use of the LeapPad can be a stepping stone to learn more about using technology based learning systems at home. Unfortunately, this is still a subject that needs to be study to learn more. There are still many uncertainties that come with using technology to help a child learn. This is a path that needs to be explored in more detail, that way we can know if the future of technology will help or harm a child ability to learn.


LeapFrog LeapPad Platinum Tablet [Advertisement]. (n.d.). Retrieved February 15, 2017,


Neumann, M. M. (2016). Young children’s use of touch scree tablets for writing and

reading at home: Relationships with emergent literacy. ScienceDirect, 61-68.



One thought on “Tablets Help Children Learn…Kind of

  1. Julia Hohl U1059478
    I found the research associated with your own post interesting and a little surprising. I used to play LeapFrog computer games at home as a child, and I can attest that they were fun and engaging. However, it seems rather unlikely that a single tablet could serve the needs of children from ages 2-9, as this is such a large gap. At the preschool where I work, the youngest students are always ecstatic to complete an art project or anything hands-on; this indicates they may become bored easily if only watching a screen. LeapFrog may be a wonderful supplemental learning device for older children, but it certainly should not stand in for any true educational lessons.


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