Top-rated educational math apps may not be best for children’s learning

Top-rated educational math apps may not be best for children’s learning


blackboard math

Credit: Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain

The top 25 math apps for kids under five don’t reflect best practices on how kids learn and develop their first math skills, according to a new report from IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society.

Posted today in UCL discovery, the report highlights the lack of governance and regulation of “educational” apps. It reveals that only one of the top 25 apps, ranked by popularity on Apple’s iOS app and Google Play Stores, had been formally evaluated to see if they had any impact on children’s math learning.

As part of the study, researchers synthesized 50 research studies from 18 countries around the world that evaluated 77 educational applications of mathematics during the first three years of school. They found that 90% of studies showed that math applications had some benefits in supporting the learning and mathematical development of young children.

In particular, learning with math apps was maximized when apps provided a personalized learning journey for children and gave them feedback explaining why their answers were right or wrong, as well as giving them praise and rewards. . However, few of the top 25 math applications included functions that could do this.

The researchers argue that their findings demonstrate the lack of high-quality math applications currently available to parents and teachers and highlight the need to significantly improve the categorization of educational applications in app stores to facilitate the choice of parents and teachers.

Of the top 25 applications in the study that included math content, 68% focused on numerical skills and 64% on counting, but those skills were often introduced in isolation from other math skills and experiences. Other important skills for children’s mathematical development, such as basic arithmetic and form, patterns, and measurement, were found less frequently.

The principal investigator, Dr. Laura Outhwaite (UCL Center for Educational Policy and Equal Opportunities) said: “Technology and educational applications have become an important part of our daily lives, especially since the COVID pandemic. 19. But with more than 200,000 educational applications available, it can be tricky to decide which ones to use and which ones will best support children.

“Our results demonstrate the limited options for identifying high-quality math applications currently available to parents and teachers and underscore the need to significantly improve the categorization of educational applications in app stores to facilitate parent choice. and teachers “.

The co-author, Dr. Jo Van Herwegen, (UCL Psychology and Human Development), added: individual learning, but when deciding which applications to use, it’s important to consider the design features as well as the learning experience that the applications offer and how they fit into your classroom or classroom. ‘home environment’.


How to choose educational applications for preschoolers


More information:
Can math apps add value to young children’s learning? A systematic review and content analysis. discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10149354/

Provided by University College London

Citation: Top rated educational math apps may not be the best for children’s learning (2022, May 30) Retrieved May 30, 2022 at https://phys.org/news/2022-05 -top-rated-math-apps-children.html

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