Just as Sesame Street helped transform television into a revolutionary tool for learning among young children four decades ago, advances in mobile technologies are showing enormous untapped educational potential for today’s generation.
This report released last month by a research centre based at the Sesame Workshop claims that children’s lives have been caught up in a tide of mobile digital technologies—games, cellphones, and smartphones— and that, if carefully managed, these could significantly boost their learning.
“It is no longer a question of whether we should use these devices to support learning, but how and when,” to use them,” writes Michael H. Levine, the executive director of the New York City-based Joan Ganz Cooney Center, at Sesame Workshop.
This The 52-page “Pockets of Potential: Using Mobile Technologies to Promote Children’s Learning” draws on interviews with a cross-section of research, policy, and industry experts to illustrate how mobile technologies such as cell phones, iPod devices, and portable gaming platforms might be more widely used for learning. More than half of the world’s population now owns a cell phone and children under 12 constitute one of the fastest growing segments of mobile technology users in the U.S. Examining over 25 handheld learning products and research projects in the U.S. and abroad, the report highlights early evidence and examples of how mobile devices may help re-deﬁne teaching and learning in the decade ahead.