21.02.20

Six new apps approved to help develop early years learning

New technology is set to benefit parents in supporting their children learning at home, with 6 new apps available to improve speaking, reading and writing.

A competition was launched to find the best educational apps for parents to engage young children in learning at home and after a panel of experts consideration, 6 apps have been approved with a focus on language, early literacy and communication. The apps include activities such as interactive story books and educational video games.

The apps have been published on the 'Hungry Little Minds' website and are part of the government’s initiative to aid parents in making informed decisions about the use of technology in creating positive learning environments at home.  

The new technology comes in light of data that shows three quarters of children aged five and under have used smartphone or tablet apps at least once in the last six months to learn.

The panel of experts who accredited the apps, chaired by Professor of Education at University of Sheffield, Jackie Marsh, included children’s digital media consultants, early learning charities and researchers at universities.

Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary, said: “The first few years of a child’s life are crucial in equipping them with the skills needed for the classroom, and we are working with families to make it easier to weave early learning into daily activities.

“We know that the majority of families are using technology in fun and visual ways to support their child’s early education, but it can be difficult for busy parents to work out what content is best. This list of expert-approved apps helps them make confident decisions that benefit their child’s language and literacy skills.”

Professor Jackie Marsh said: “The panel is delighted with the approved apps, as they all offer valuable opportunities to support children’s early literacy development. Apps that are of most educational value to children contain a number of features, such as a design which makes the app easy to use and also offers guidance and support for parents, enabling the content to be adjusted for individual children.

“Apps should also be engaging and fun to use, with clear learning goals and the use of feedback that can be reassuring and motivating for children. All of the approved apps contain these features, and we are confident that they can have a positive impact on children’s early literacy learning.”

You can find a list of the 6 published apps here.

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