University of Sheffield Professor researches quality of apps

University of Sheffield Professor researches quality of apps

 February 05, 2019

University of Sheffield's Professor Jackie Marsh is the chair of a panel that is conducting expert research into children's early language, literacy and communications apps. This follows an appointment by the Department of Education to assess the quality of educational apps on the market and help parents make a better decision based on educational value. The panel will also support the Department of Education in creating a guide for parents on how to best use the apps. 

Bringing years of expertise

Jackie will bring over 20 years of expertise and experience to the panel. Jackie has previously been part of a similar study which showed that tablets could support the development of early age reading skills. 

This links with Jackie's interest in young children’s digital literacy practices in homes, communities and early years settings. She has done research projects that have explored children´s access to new technologies and their emergent digital literacy skills, knowledge and understanding. She has examined the way in which parents/carers and other family members support this engagement.

Jackie also has conducted a number of research projects that have explored how creative and innovative teachers have responded to the challenges of modern media. She has evaluated a number of national projects that have aimed to develop teachers' expertise in the teaching and learning of digital and media literacy. In her more recent research, Jackie has explored changes in children’s play due to developments in media, technology and commercial cultures.

“I am delighted to take on the role of Chair of the panel on early years, language, literacy and communication apps. Young children are immersed in a digital world from their earliest years and have access to many apps on tablets and smartphones," says Jackie. "There is a need to identify the features of high quality apps that support their learning and to offer parents, carers and teachers guidance on how to select and use apps effectively. The government has rightly identified this as a priority and I look forward to working with the members of the panel on undertaking this important task.”

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