Childhood in the digital age
Childhood in the digital age

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

2.3 Tablets and apps in Malawi

Described image
Figure 5 Tablet computers are particularly easy to use for all ages

The following video focuses on an initiative from the charity One Billion, which uses an app provided on tablet devices to support the poor maths abilities of primary school schildren in Malawi, where pupils’ access to resources like teachers, computers or tablet devices is necessarily very limited.

Download this video clip.Video player: ou_futurelearn_21st_c_childhood_vid_1059.mp4
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
 
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

The findings are quite remarkable, showing an accelerated improvement in maths performance despite the constraints. Professor Nicola Pitchford from the University of Nottingham has taken the initiative one step further, and provided the same app and access to a cohort of children in the UK.

As the video suggests, the use of apps can have a significant effect on children’s learning, and this study is a clear example of how new digital devices and educational applications can help transform the lives of many children both in the UK and abroad by improving their educational experiences and success.

Activity 1

Following on from the explanations and examples, think about the following questions and make notes on your views.

  • Do you think children can really speed up their own learning with the use of digital technology and limited teacher input?
  • Could the same set of skills be achieved with a carefully designed piece of technology alone and no teacher input?
  • What do you think teachers can bring to children’s learning and development that computers and other technology cannot?

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371