Can An App Really Improve Learning?

We already know that mobile learning is the future, both in and out of the classroom. The number of smartphones being sold is soaring while other hardware (desktops, for example) are slumping. You can’t really beat having information at students’ fingertips whenever they need it.

That doesn’t mean, however, that there aren’t skeptics out there. Just as parents and teachers questioned other innovations in education in years past, and the inclusion of other types of technology into educational environments, many are doing so with mobile learning as well. The big question they’re asking: Can mobile apps really improve learning? The handy infographic below takes a look at the role of mobile apps in learning.

How Are Mobile Apps Influencing Young Learners?

  • Research indicates that by 2016, smartphones will be the only types of phones that Americans use
  • Less than 2 years after its introduction, 1 in 5 adults owned a tablet
  • 70% of tablet owning households with children under 12 say that their children use the device
  • 41% of families with children entertain them with a mobile device at restaurants
  • 77% let their children use the tablet to play games
  • 57% let their children use the tablet for educational apps
  • More than 80% of the best selling paid apps in the iTunes store’s ‘Education’ category are targeted towards children

In a study, children who used an educational gaming app for 5-10 minutes per day for three weeks:

  • 31% improved their knowledge of colors by 2 or more
  • 45% improved their picture naming skill levels by an average of more than 8 months
  • 38% improved object assembly skill levels by an average of more than 10 months






  1. Anthony

    November 14, 2013 at 6:44 am

    So… Many references to research in the article without any actual footnotes. I would love to see the research that these findings come from. It would be the perfect one two punch!

    Many thanks,


  2. James O'Hagan

    November 14, 2013 at 8:17 am

    While the graphic has data, this graphic was produced by a company selling an app. It’s questionable that their app study results are legit (the other data ignored, but sure feels like a shotgun approach to making an argument). Dubious claims indeed. Not saying they don’t, but it’s specious claims that mislead people who don’t look below the surface and spout out these “findings” as scientific fact.