If you visit the education category on the iTunes and Android app stores, you may notice that several of the apps consist of basic spelling, counting, and coloring. Given that these apps are geared towards young children and even babies, it is no surprise that children from the ages of 2 to 4 are educational media’s biggest users.
“At a younger and younger age, kids are accustomed to using [televisions and mobile devices],” said Victoria Rideout, the author of the report that explains the findings by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center. “Companies see this trend and are creating much more content that is for the very youngest kids and marketing that content as educational.”
However, the large use of educational media drops once children enter school. While children between the ages of 2-4 spend an average of one hour per day watching television or using online programs, this number drops to fifty minutes per day for 5-to-7-year-olds, and to 42 minutes per day for 8-to-10-year-olds. Furthermore, while 13% of 2-to-4-year-olds use devices for educational activities, only 6% of 8-to-10-year-olds do. The study explains that when children enter school they are able to access more smartphones, game consoles and e-readers, and are therefore more easily distracted by video games and other online entertainment that do not contain educational material.
Are you surprised by this information? Let us know your thoughts by commenting on this post! To read the article “2-to-4-year-olds are most frequent users of educational media, study finds” by Cecilia Kang (The Washington Post), click here. To learn more about the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, click here.