Literacy app spells success in early learning

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A Griffith University lecturer in the School of Education and Professional Studies has developed a free educational app for parents and teachers to help children learn the basics of literacy and numeracy.

Combining basic testing and results collation with colourful animation, the Emergent Literacy Assessment app is already proving popular with hundreds of downloads across the US, Australia, UK, Canada and NZ.

Dr Michelle Neumann, member of the Griffith Institute for Educational Research began researching educational apps as part of a post-doctoral project in early childhood education. She was also inspired by her own children’s use of tablets and apps at home.

“I developed it as a digital assessment tool for children I am working with in my research,” she said.

“It’s more fun, more interactive and better than flash cards.

“Effective learning apps need educators, researchers, and app developers involved in their production,” Dr Neumann said.

“Parents often don’t have the skills to understand the difference between what is working and what just looks great. We need to be fostering the right skills and gathering the right information and assisting parents with this.”

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She said one of the more exciting parts was that the app wasn’t just a game and parents and children benefit from playing it together.

With downloads currently nudging 700, Dr Neumann believes the app is just the beginning of something big.

“We’ve had some great feedback from parents and teachers who are using the app with their prep classes and getting really positive results.

“This is the first version. In time, I’d like to develop the app further and by working with what children need we can foster their individual learning.”

Download the Emergent Literacy Assessment app  from iTunes.

(Source: Griffith University)

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Date Created: June 21, 2016