Read the text below.
Using computers, tablets, and smartphones can help in the development of learning abilities and social skills of children, a new study suggests.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conducted the study to aid countries in providing better early education for children.
The researchers gathered data from around 7,000 five-year-olds in England, Estonia, and the United States. Among these children, 83% spent time using digital devices once a week, while 42% did so every day. With the help of an academic professional, the children’s literacy and social skills were evaluated using interactive stories and activities on tablets. The tasks involved listening to stories and clicking or moving objects shown on the screen.
According to the results, children who use digital devices one to three times a month are likely to develop high levels of literacy, as well as self-regulation, or the ability to control one’s behavior to focus on a task at hand. The research also suggests that a child’s different abilities, such as reading, writing, and social skills, are interconnected. This means that being skillful or having a deficiency in a particular area could affect the development of other abilities.
Vicky Ford, UK Minister for Children, said that the OECD’s study supports the idea that early education is important in a child’s development.
According to Ford, the UK government is investing £3.6 billion (around US$5 billion) in early education benefits. She added that parents are also encouraged to monitor their children’s learning before they start school.