Dec 23, 2019

Study: Educational apps can help children learn, but with some limitations

Photo: Sebastian Kahnert/picture alliance via Getty Images

Interactive learning apps prove helpful for early academic skills in developing children, particularly in early mathematics, but not without some limitations, researchers found.

Why it matters: Touch screens are ubiquitous among young children due in part to the rising popularity of educational apps that teach classroom instruction and memory. Under pressure to prepare them for school, parents give children the technology for later academic, behavioral, and emotional functioning.

Yes, but: There is no evidence of the effectiveness of apps trying to improve social communication skills in children with autism spectrum disorder, according to a study of more than 4,000 participants published Monday in the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • More research is needed to evaluate both the potential and the limitations of educational apps to support early learning.

Several past studies have tried to measure children's increasing exposure to screen time, but never on the effect of interactive content on the education of children.

Go deeper: "60 Minutes" talked to scientists studying the effects of screen time on different age groups of children.

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Trump hits back at Mattis: "I gave him a new life"

President Trump speaks at the White House. Photo: Doug Mills - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump unloaded on his former defense secretary via Twitter on Wednesday, hours after James Mattis condemned him for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in his response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

What he's saying: "Probably the only thing Barack Obama & I have in common is that we both had the honor of firing Jim Mattis, the world’s most overrated General. I asked for his letter of resignation, & felt great about it. His nickname was 'Chaos', which I didn’t like, & changed it to 'Mad Dog'"

Obama praises young protesters, urges mayors to pursue police reforms

Former President Barack Obama called on all mayors to review their use-of-force policies and commit to policing reform in a virtual town hall Wednesday hosted by the Obama Foundation's My Brothers Keepers Alliance.

Why it matters: Obama has addressed the killing of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed on social media and in a Medium post, but this was his first time speaking about the past week's events on camera. His voice will add weight to the growing pressure on local, state and federal officials to pursue policing reforms.

James Mattis condemns Trump as a threat to the Constitution

Mattis on Fox in Septemnber 2019 in New York City. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis condemned President Trump for making a "mockery of our Constitution" in a statement to The Atlantic on Wednesday, saying he was "appalled" at the president's response to mass protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing.

Why it matters: Trump’s former defense secretary had refrained from publicly criticizing his former boss since resigning in 2018.