Paper Critique

Paper Critique




Paper Critique


The article, A Tablet Computer for Young Children? Exploring its Validity for Early Childhood Education, Leslie J. Couse and Dora W. Chen set out to find out whether tablet computers are viable in early childhood education. They explore this issue by focusing on how easily the young children can acclimate to the technology, as well as its ability to engage them towards achieving a specific goal, which in this case is drawing. The research is conducted by videotaping 41 young children while using the tablet computers. Results show that the technology increases children’s interest in drawing and their ability to acclimate to the stylus technology used for drawing.

Problem Statement

Technology has continually been recognized as an integral tool for learning and promotion of cognitive development in young children and other social purposes (Couse & Chen, 2010). However, the problem that exists does not concern the use of technology in the classroom. Rather, it revolves around how such technology should be utilized. In addition, keeping up with the fast rate of new technology designed for classroom has proven a challenge for education providers considering it has an increasing potential to improve children’s learning abilities. The article seeks to explore whether the stylus-interface in tablet computers, which is one of the technologies designed for the classroom, can be used for teaching preschool curriculum to young children.

Significance of the Research

This research is quite beneficial considering it seeks to find out whether technology meant for children does what it is meant to do. The research results indicate that tablet computers with the stylus technology are quite viable for use with preschool going children. The results are quite useful for indicating the viability of technology towards increasing the learning ability of children. Therefore, this research is very important for education providers who need to use the best technology for preparing young children for school.

Adequacy of Research Methods

I think the research method used was adequate. The research sought to find out how well children are acclimated to the stylus and its ability to teach the preschool curriculum to young children. The method involved 41 children between 3 and 6 years. They were given a task of drawing their self-portrait, which is within their curriculum. The methodology used two sessions, where the first one involved adult instruction. The second one allowed children to use the stylus without help. The portraits were compared to the traditional methods of drawing to ascertain the viability of the technology. Additionally, the ability of the children to use the technology to complete a task within their curriculum would indicate their acclimatization to the stylus. Therefore, the method used was adequate.

Research Outcomes

Researchers found that the children were able to feel comfortable using the tablets for drawing after undergoing adult instructions and peer modeling after a one-hour exposure. Within the second session, almost all the children videotaped were able to make self-portraits except for one. In addition, the quality of their drawing and writing using the tablets was comparable to the traditional methods. This indicated that the children were in a position to be acclimated with the technology in a short time. However, the knowledge of computers back at home did not influence their ease of acclimatization with this technology.

Although the children were able to feel comfortable using the technology within a short time, continued use showed more independence, which resulted in increased experimenting. Children further showed an increased preference for the tablet than other computers. The results are quite convincing considering that children have a high interest in technology. In addition, their results are baked up by evidence from other researches carried out before.




Couse, J., & Chen, D. W. (2010). A Tablet Computer for Young Children? Exploring its Validity for Early Childhood Education. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 43 (1): 75-98.


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