The Effectiveness and Legitimacy of Educational Apps

This Friday, the Stony Brook University Department of Technology and Society will host a lecture by Dr. Roberta Golinkoff, Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Education, Psychology, Linguistics and Cognitive Science at the University of Delaware, entitled Putting the Education Back in Educational “Apps,” on the topic of educational apps available on smart phone digital marketplaces. The event
will be held at 1:00 p.m. In SAC 303.

Duolingo for Android and iOS gamifies language learning, allowing people to compete with their friends and “level up” while learning a new language.

This talk is the first in the Spring 2015 Technology and Policy Speaker Series, which aims to “ tantalize participants by showcasing cutting-edge research and expert commentary on today’s most pressing problems,” according to the Department of Technology and Society website.

One way that mobile reporting might benefit coverage of this event is that I will have on my person all of the tools required to test and familiarize myself with some of the topics of conversation. Educational apps like Duolingo have helped me gain a firmer grasp of basic Spanish, and reporting on a discussion about how well these apps work on a grander scale would be valuable to the consumer and the public.

According to the February 4, New York Times article, Silicon Valley Turns Its Eye to Education, educational technology has seen a 55-percent increase in funding over the past year and the market for educational technologies and tools are increasing as new business models and start-ups are developed.

Questions still remain about the effectiveness of many educational apps, some of which, like Duolingo, are top performers on the Apple and Play stores, but Dr. Golinkoff’s talk might shed some light on their quality and utility.


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