July 4, 2023

Guidelines and Resources for Building Your Technology, Early Literacy, and Young Children Website for Families!

Hello, and thank you for visiting our blog dedicated to early childhood literacy and technology! We are ecstatic to be able to offer a helpful resource for early childhood professionals as well as families to enable them to investigate the wonderful world of technology and the role it plays in the development of early literacy. Our mission is to provide parents with the knowledge and resources they need to better understand the linkages between modern technology and the development of early reading abilities in children from birth through the third grade.

As professionals working in the field of early childhood education, we are aware of the significance of adopting technology as a tool to improve early literacy experiences. Our goal is to present you with knowledge, recommendations, and ideas that you can put into practice that are supported by research and can assist you in navigating the digital realm while simultaneously encouraging your child’s reading abilities. Our objective is to provide you with the information and tools that will enable you to make educated choices regarding the role that technology will play in your child’s early learning journey.

We are aware that young children might experience both benefits and challenges as a result of their exposure to technology in this rapidly advancing digital environment. Because of this, we have made it our mission to present you with an objective viewpoint that, while emphasizing the positive aspects of technological advancement, also discusses the risks and recommendations that are involved with its use. We are of the opinion that we can tap into the power of technology to engage and inspire young learners in meaningful reading experiences if we cultivate a positive and purposeful connection with it.

We encourage you to go around our website and investigate the findings of the study, as well as the recommendations, activities, and applications that are advised. These things are all geared towards encouraging early literacy development through the strategic application of technology. We hope that you will find this resource helpful, and that it will act as a reference point for your family as you travel the path to early reading. Let’s take the plunge together into an exciting new experience where literacy and technology come together to spark a passion for learning that will last a lifetime.

What the research shows in a nutshell

Research has shown that when young children use digital media that is engaging and proper for their age, it may help them learn to read and write. Interactive and interesting digital media can help kids learn to read and write better. (De Jong & Bus, 2002; Neumann, 2016) Research has shown that doing things like reading interactive e-books, using educational apps, and sharing stories through a digital platform can help students improve their ability to understand what they read, their understanding of how words work, and their vocabulary.

When using technology to help kids learn to read and write, it’s important for parents and kids to have conversations to each other: When kids use technology to learn, it’s important for their parents to be involved and involved with them. Research (Chiong et al., 2018; Marsh et al., 2015) shows that the positive benefits of technology on early reading are increased when parents help their children learn by setting an appropriate example, asking questions, and talking about what they are learning.

For a child’s general growth and development, it’s important to find a good balance between screen time and other things that are good for their age and stage of development. Even though technology can help young children learn to read and write, it is important to keep a healthy balance between screen time and other things that are advantageous for their growth. Research (American Academy of Paediatrics, 2016; Madigan et al., 2019) suggests that kids who spend too much time in front of a computer may develop language more slowly and be less interested in hands-on, exploring play. Limits should be set, and people should be urged to take part in a wide range of activities to help make up for any risks.

The most important things are apps with good information that is acceptable for the user’s age: When picking digital media for young children, it’s important to think about both the quality and whether or not the content is right for their age. Takacs et al. (2015) found that using training apps and other digital tools made specifically for early literacy can help children learn to read. Look for apps that give useful learning experiences, have features that can be interacted with, and are in line with the child’s growth stages.

Co-watching and co-playing may help kids learn more, according to study that shows the benefits of these kinds of relationships between older and younger kids. Parents or other adults who care for young children can help them learn to read and write by doing tech-based tasks with them. This supports shared attention, social connection, and important conversations (Kucirkova, 2014; Linebarger et al., 2014), all of which can help kids learn to read better.

Keep in Mind

When a family chooses to use technology to help a young child learn to read, they need to be aware of both the pros and cons.

Advantage: There is more access to a wide range of reading materials. Technology has made it possible for homes to get access to a wide range of digital materials, such as e-books, audiobooks, and learning platforms that let you connect with the material. This has made things better for families. By giving children a wide range of reading that is both age-appropriate and from different cultures, these materials will help them learn about different types of writing, writers, and points of view. Shamir et al. 2021 and McLean et al. 2020 say that giving children better access to literacy tools could improve their general reading experiences, including their motivation, engagement, and enjoyment of reading.

Attention: the following may be distracting and make it harder to understand: Families should take note of the fact that technology can be a distraction that could hurt children’s ability to learn. When there are engaging parts, animations, and links in the surroundings, it can be easy for young children to lose focus on what they are supposed to be reading. Some studies (Takacs et al., 2015; Krcmar & Cingel, 2017) show that too many video aspects might make it harder for kids to understand the material and take their attention away from the main educational goal. To make sure their kids get a well-rounded education, parents should encourage their kids to use technology in a focused way and set clear rules and standards for them.

How far along are we with technology? Which Style? Guidelines by Age

Families need to pay attention to the guidelines for how much computer time, what gadgets are okay, and what kinds of media are good for each age group of young children. The following suggestions come from study and the views of experts:

Babies under 18 months should spend as little time as possible in front of a screen, except when they are video chatting with other family members. The best way to help a child’s overall growth, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (2016), is to focus on important connections, environments that are full of language, and hands-on exploration.

When introducing 18–24-month-old children to high-quality educational media like engaging apps or movies with age-appropriate content, it is important to keep them engaged and watch the media with a parent or other caretaker. The American Academy of Pediatrics (2016) and Christakis et al. (2019) say that kids shouldn’t spend more than one hour a day in front of a screen. They also say that kids should be encouraged to do other things, like unstructured play and talking with adults and other kids.

Children in preschool: Interactive and educational media can be helpful for kids ages 2 to 5 when used in limits. (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2016; Zimmerman et al., 2007) Screen time should be limited to no more than one hour per day of high-quality programming. If possible, kids should watch with an adult and find a balance with other activities like physical play, reading, and social interactions. It is best to watch no more than one hour of high-quality programmed on a screen every day.

Children in kindergarten should only be able to watch one to two hours of educational shows per day, and they should be closely watched when they use electronic devices. (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2016; Zimmerman et al., 2007) Encourage a healthy mix between screen-based hobbies and other types of play, physical exercise, reading, and social contacts. You shouldn’t spend more than an hour a day in front of a screen.

Children in the first, second, and third grades are likely to have more access to digital gadgets for learning. You should limit the amount of time your child spends in front of a computer to no more than one to two hours per day of monitored, age-appropriate material. You should also make sure this time doesn’t get in the way of them sleeping enough or doing other good things. Rideout and Robb (2019) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (2016; https://www.aap.org/) say that parents should encourage their kids to think critically about the media they watch and help them choose what is appropriate. [Needs citation] [Source: 2016 American Academy of Pediatrics].

Ideas That Are Appropriate for Children of Different Ages and Their Families Concerning the Development of Both Technology and Literacy

It is crucial  take into consideration practices and activities that are developmentally appropriate while seeking to assist early literacy development at home through the use of technology. The following are two suggestions or activities that are appropriate for each age group:

Toddlers and younger infants:

Use of technology to engage infants and toddlers in interactive narrative experiences might be referred to as “Interactive Storytime.” Choose e-books or applications that are appropriate for the child’s age and are equipped with features such as touch interactions, animated characters, and sound effects. Take some time to sit down with your kid, read to them, and then encourage them to flip through the digital pages by touching or swiping. According to Zevenbergen et al. (2018), taking a break to question students and have a conversation on the parts of the tale can help students improve their comprehension and language abilities.

Applications that Focus on Nursery Rhymes and Songs Utilize applications that concentrate on nursery rhymes and songs to assist early language development and phonological awareness. These mobile applications frequently incorporate sing-along capabilities, vibrant images, and interactive components that urge users to get involved. According to Marsh et al. (2015), while interacting with the app, you and your kid should sing and rhyme together while putting an emphasis on the rhythm and sounds of the phrases.


Exploration of the Digital Alphabet Provide young children with the opportunity to investigate letters, the sounds they make, and associated language through the use of interactive alphabet applications or websites. In order for children to create words, you should encourage them to either trace letters with their fingers or use digital manipulatives. (Ploughman & Stephen, 2007) To help your child develop phonological awareness, talk to them about the forms of letters, the sounds associated with each letter, and items that start with each letter.

Helping Preschoolers Create Their Own Digital Stories You may help younger children create their own digital stories by directing them to easy storytelling applications or platforms. You should encourage children to narrate or type their own tales, pick photos or drawings to accompany the text, and include audio recordings of themselves recounting the story. According to Marsh et al. (2018), this practice improves participants’ ability to tell stories, as well as their originality and comprehension of narrative structure.


Word Building Games: Use interactive spelling and vocabulary applications to keep kindergarteners interested in word-building exercises that they can participate in. A common feature of these applications is the provision of letter tiles or letters that can be moved about, enabling youngsters to construct words by rearranging and rearranging them. According to Kucirkova et al. (2018), you should encourage children to try out a variety of various letter combinations, recognize trends, and practice spelling frequent sight words or words that are phonetically regular.

Logs or diaries for recording reading experiences should be made available to kindergarteners, and these might either be in the form of digital logs or journals. Make use of a straightforward mobile application or a web-based tool in which youngsters may enter the title, author, and a condensed synopsis of the books they have read. Encourage them to talk about their ideas, find connections, or sketch scenes from their favorite movies or books. This practice encourages introspection, participation in literacy activities, and the development of a passion for reading (Mullis et al., 2017).

 Students in the First, Second, and Third Grades:

Platforms for Collaborative Writing Make use of internet platforms for collaborative writing where youngsters may work together with their friends or members of their family to write stories or informational texts. These systems provide real-time collaboration and commentary, which helps to improve communication, teamwork, and editing abilities. According to Hutchison et al. (2012), children should be encouraged to share their thoughts, offer feedback that is constructive, and collaborate with one another to modify their writing.

Projects in Digital Research: Help students in first, second, and third grades carry out research projects in digital format on subjects that are of interest to them. Help kids locate the knowledge they need by directing them to child-friendly search engines or carefully chosen educational websites. Show students how to assess the reliability of internet sites based on the information they provide. In order for students to communicate their discoveries and strengthen their information literacy skills as well as their ability to present material digitally, you should encourage them to make multimedia presentations or digital posters (Leu et al., 2018).

Excellent Mobile Applications for Young Children

When picking applications for young children that are suitable for their stage of development, it is essential to take into consideration the following guidelines:

Age Appropriateness It is important to select applications that have been developed expressly for the age range that will be using them. Search for app options that cater to the needs, interests, and capabilities of children in the early stages of their development.

Educational Value Choose applications that have specific educational aims in mind and offer a variety of educational experiences for you to take advantage of. Look for applications that help young children practice early reading abilities such as phonics, vocabulary development, letter identification, and storytelling.

Choose applications that are interactive and engaging for your children by looking for ones that allow for hands-on exploration, meaningful interactions, and other types of meaningful play. Look for mobile applications that inspire creative thinking, active engagement, and problem-solving skills.

Choose applications that give high-quality material, such as accurate information, appealing pictures, and acceptable music. Additionally, make sure the design of the app is of a high standard. Look for mobile applications that feature navigation systems that are easy to understand, instructions that are unambiguous, and user-friendly interfaces.

Applications that are recommended for early literacy include:

Through fun and engaging animations, “Endless Alphabet” (recommended for children ages 3 to 6) teaches youngsters letter recognition and vocabulary. Children are better able to retain knowledge of the alphabet, letter sounds, and the meanings of words when they are able to connect that information with entertaining pictures and interesting activities.

This application, titled “Sight Words Learning Games” (Ages 4–7), is geared towards the instruction of sight words, which are an important component of early reading abilities. It offers a variety of games and activities, many of which are interactive, to enable youngsters to practice recognizing and reading regularly encountered sight words in a manner that is both entertaining and participatory.

“ABC mouse Early Learning Academy” is a complete software that is designed for children aged 2 to 8 years old. It has a broad variety of engaging activities, such as literacy-based games, music, stories, and puzzles. It focuses on the development of early literacy abilities like as letter recognition, phonics, vocabulary, and comprehension, adapting its content to the needs of children of varying ages.

“Jolly Phonics” is geared for children aged three to six. The Jolly Phonics app is designed to assist youngsters in learning letter sounds as well as abilities related to phonics. It is based on the well-known phonics programmed. It makes use of a multi-sensory approach by mixing motions, sounds, and songs in order to strengthen letter-sound relationships. The application gives children the opportunity to participate in interactive games and activities that assist their early literacy development in a methodical and interesting manner. These games and activities allow the children to practice blending sounds, identifying letters, and spelling words.

Young children who are just starting out in the world of phonics and developing their decoding and reading abilities will find the Jolly Phonics app to be an extremely helpful resource. It delivers a learning experience that is both organized and participatory, with the goals of reinforcing ideas related to phonics, improving letter-sound identification, and laying a firm foundation for proficient reading and writing.

The following applications are suggested because they give experiences that are both interesting and interactive and help the development of early reading. They provide material and activities that are age-appropriate and that match with the developmental needs and interests of young children. This enables the children to practice important literacy skills in a way that is both enjoyable and participatory for them.

Renu Rajain !


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