Just when we were used to educational programs on the PC, suddenly all the new educational programs for kids are going mobile. There are hundreds – no, thousands – of educational iPhone apps in the iTunes App Store. Are they any better or different from programs for the PC? Is the touch screen of an iPhone hard for kids to learn to use, in comparison to a keyboard and a mouse?
PicPocket Books always uses kids as testers for our new applications, and it is wonderful and amazing to see how intuitive the iPhone controls are even for children as young as 2 and 3 years old. Young kids are naturally curious and they don’t have the initial fear or hesitation towards a new technology device that some adults display.
The iTunes store offers a number of free apps, and free programs are available for PCs. Paid iPhone apps usually top out at $5, whereas you can easily pay close to $100 for an educational program for your PC (think Disney’s new digital library for $79, foreign language tutorials, etc.)
A strong appeal of the iPhone is that it is mobile, and perfect for entertaining kids when you are away from home and caught in an unexpected wait.
So yes, I think kids can use mobile devices like the iPhone for effective learning, and many of the available quality apps are perfect for taking advantage of times when you are caught in a wait. So pull out the iPhone to practice some math facts, foreign language vocabulary, or just to read a good picture book.