Before the time of HDMI TVs, Chromecast or Interactive Displays, there was just the plain old chalkboard. Since then, there has been an outburst of solutions created to aid in the teaching sector. One being ‘Interactive Panels’. However, the question arises: How effective are interactive displays for learning.
Research based on children from Philadelphia, aged between 6 months and 4 years, shows that 96.6% of children had used gadgets, such as smartphones and tablets before their first birthday. And another from Common Sense Media reports that 38% of children had used a mobile device, under the age 2.
Even though it is the unsaid that a child learns best from the time spent with adults, recent evidence suggests that when given the correct media, children as young as preschoolers and young toddlers may actually learn a lot more from interactive digital media (Child Development Perspectives, a journal of the Society for Research in Child Development).
According to Heather Kirkorian, “Interactivity appears to help young children connect what they see on a screen to their experience in the world”.
“However, some types of interactivity are more beneficial than others, and optimal conditions for learning may vary considerably from person to person”.
Previously found studies already conclude that children learn more effectively when watching educational TV programs, however, the end result may not be as effective as to if a child was to actually interact with the media being shown to them. And the same can be found in older children that may struggle to learn from media when being tested on harder tasks.
This may have to do with the dimensions of a video. 2-dimensional videos can inhibit a child from visualising difficult topics like shapes and problem-solving or even fail to respond to a learner’s questions.
Applying the research that interactivity helps to boost learning, it can be said that depending on the media being shown to a child, children can actually gain more from joining in on interactive teaching resources. This is not only due to the fact that familiarity plays a part in a child’s learning but a young learner has the opportunity to receive answers to their questions while joining in on what is being taught to them.