Can tablets help children learn?

Tablets For Learning
Learn how a tablet can help your child learn.

By Carolyn James, Ph.D.

LeapFrog Literacy Expert

As the literacy development expert on LeapFrog’s Learning Team, Carolyn ensures that the curricular design in LeapFrog products is grounded in the latest educational research. Before joining LeapFrog, Carolyn was a reading professor at Sacramento State University, a curriculum developer for the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, and a teacher in the San Francisco bay area. She earned her doctorate in educational psychology at Michigan State University.

Kids’ tablets, paired with well-developed content, can be great vehicles for learning. Just as a pencil is a tool we use to think and learn, a children's tablet is a tool for thinking and learning too. And when choosing a tablet to help your child learn, it is important to think about the quality of the content. Rich tablet content can extend children’s possibility spaces and allow them to explore ideas and concepts in innovative and engaging ways. 

Kids’ tablets & children’s handwriting skills

In the age of ubiquitous tablets, some parents may wonder whether tablets for kids negatively impact children’s handwriting abilities. However, tablets can be great tools for practicing letter and number writing. For example, in LeapFrog’s Mr. Pencil game for LeapFrog’s family of learning tablets, children can learn how to form letters and numbers in an interactive environment that provides stroke-by-stoke direction and encouragement.

Kids’ tablets & children’s reading skills

Tablets for kids have the potential to positively impact children’s reading habits. A recent study by Scholastic* found that while kids are drawn to both print books and ebooks, reading on kids’ tablets, or ereading, “seems to offer an exciting opportunity to attract and motivate boys and reluctant readers to read more books.” In addition, half of children age 9-17 say they would read more books for fun if they had greater access to ebooks.

As with any tool or technology, strive for a balanced diet of tablet-based and non-tablet-based experiences. And, when your child is using the kid’s tablet, ensure that the content is high-quality.