Study: Using Digital Devices Boosts Learning among Children

Category : Education/Family

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. aid (someone/something) in (something) / eɪd ɪn / (phrasal) – to give assistance in something

    The kind stranger aided me in bringing my groceries to my car.

  2. literacy / ˈlɪt ər ə si / (n) – a person’s ability to read and write

    The school improves the literacy of its students by requiring them to write a book review once a month.

  3. interconnected / ˌɪntərkəˈnɛktɪd / (adj) – linked to each other

    The departments in the company are interconnected; the tasks of one support those of the others.

  4. deficiency / dɪˈfɪʃ ən si / (n) – a lack of something

    I eat a lot of oranges to address my Vitamin C deficiency.

  5. interactive / ˌɪn tərˈæk tɪv / (adj) – created to respond to a user’s actions

    In the new interactive game, a digital character acts based on the user’s commands.


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.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think using digital devices is the best way for children to develop their learning abilities? Why or why not?
• Is there a need to strike a balance between using digital devices and relying on traditional learning methods (e.g. classroom learning)? Explain.

Discussion B

• How can parents monitor their children’s learning (e.g. take note of their strengths and weaknesses)? Discuss.
• In your opinion, should early education be prioritized more than higher education? Explain.

Category : Education/Family