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Mobile Learning: A Handbook for Developers, Educators, and Learners by Scott McQuiggan, Jamie McQuiggan, Jennifer Sabourin, Lucy Kosturko

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CHAPTER 13

Engaging Young Users: Apps for Preschoolers

Mobile devices offer an intuitive, simple interface that provides many benefits for all populations. For preschoolers, children from ages one to five, these benefits enable them to use mobile devices with an ease that often surprises their parents and teachers, and opens doors to new, rich educational experiences. With the increasing prevalence of mobile devices among parents and adults, preschoolers have access to this technology at unprecedented levels. Therefore, there is a burgeoning market for educational apps targeted toward preschoolers, leaving parents and teachers with many options and little guidance on how to choose quality apps for children. Moreover, app developers need to be in tune with what preschoolers are capable of and need to learn. This chapter will address these concerns.

It's an understatement to say there are a lot of preschool apps to choose from. Of the top selling 200 educational apps, 58 percent are for toddlers and preschoolers,1 a statistic that mirrors the Cooney Center's in-depth analysis in late 2010.2 The market is responding to the increased demand from this demographic. More parents currently have smartphones and tablet devices than ever before and preschool-aged children, looking to emulate their parents’ behaviors, have an unprecedented level of access. There is a tremendous opportunity to use these devices for good. That is, they can be used to teach children the skills they need for kindergarten ...

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