Here at DyslexiaHelp, we talk a lot about how technology and media can be really great educational resources for those with dyslexia. While we do believe that screen media can be a really invaluable resource, it does behoove us to study the question of what are children actually learning from educational media?

​The Joanne Ganz Cooney Center decided to ask parents how much their children learned from educational media. They conducted a national survey of more than 1500 parents with children ages 2-10 and the resulting report, “Learning at home: Families’ educational media use in America” offers some interesting insights.

​First, 57% of the parents surveyed believe that their children have “learned a lot” from educational media. Younger children (ages 2-4) spend more time each day with the media than any other age group. On average, children spend 42 minutes a day with educational TV compared to 5 minutes with educational content on mobile devices or computers and 3 minutes with educational video games. On average, children are reading 40 minutes a day including 29 minutes with print, 8 minutes on a computer, and 5 minutes using e-platforms. Finally, many parents observed that children extend what they learned from educational media beyond the screen by asking questions, engaging in imaginative play, and wanting to do projects related to what they had learned.

​What do educators and researchers think are the takeaways from this study? They believe that parents may feel that educational content on the TV may be better than that offered on mobile apps. Thus, parents may need more information about how to evaluate the educational value of apps and other new media. Furthermore, not all children have the same level of access to educational media and for low income families, mobile devices could be a lifeline to many essential services which may impact how children use educational media on those devices.

​To read more about this study, visit NAEYC.