A recent journal article in Frontiers in Psychology by Elizabeth Zack and Rachel Barr, shared findings on the importance of human interaction when young children are using digital devices. They emphasize that while some research has found that children can learn by using the app, they struggle with transferring their new knowledge outside the app. They concluded by suggesting that based on their research findings, "that infants require input from an engaged, responsive social partner if they are going to understand the functional relationship between 2D and 3D sources. Parents should be educated about the challenges infants face in transferring information between touch screens and objects in their physical world. They should be encouraged to co-use media rather than rely on the touch screen as a stand-alone educational device, and use effective scaffolding techniques to enhance infants’ transfer of learning from touch screens. "
Liz Kolb is a clinical assistant professor of education technologies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She works with over 150 preservice teachers every year on integrating technology into K-12 teaching.
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