Putting the Education Back in Educational Apps: How Content and Context Interact to Promote Learning

  • Jennifer M. ZoshEmail author
  • Sarah Roseberry Lytle
  • Roberta Michnick Golinkoff
  • Kathy Hirsh-Pasek


Technology is forever changing the landscape of children’s education in and out of school. But much of what masquerades for “educational” in the digital world, is not. In this chapter, we discuss evidence-based principles that can help parents, researchers, and teachers discover apps with real educational value. With the science of learning as a base, we ask whether apps promote children’s active (minds-on) and engaged (not distracted) learning with material that is meaningful and supported in socially interactive contexts. Apps that are built on these principles promote playful, scaffolded, and exploratory learning.


Technology Children Development Educational apps Education Science of learning Learning sciences Evidence-based evaluation Developmental psychology Guided play 



This work benefited greatly from conversations and collaborations with James H. Gray, Michael B. Robb, and Jordy Kaufman.


  1. Alfieri, L., Brooks, P. J., Aldrich, N. J., & Tenenbaum, H. R. (2011). Does discovery-based instruction enhance learning? Journal of Educational Psychology, 103, 1–18. doi: 10.1037/a0021017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alvarez, A. L., & Booth, A. E. (2014). Motivated by meaning: Testing the effect of knowledge-infused rewards on preschoolers’ persistence. Child Development, 85, 783–791. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12151.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson, D. R., Bryant, J., Wilder, A., Santomero, A., Williams, M., & Crawley, A. M. (2000). Researching Blue’s Clues: Viewing behavior and impact. Media Psychology, 2, 179–194. doi: 10.1207/S1532785XMEP0202_4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson, D. R., & Hanson, K. G. (2016). Screen media and parent–child interactions. In R. Barr & D. N. Linebarger (Eds.), Media exposure during infancy and early childhood: The effects of content and context on learning and development. New York: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-45102-2_11.Google Scholar
  5. Anderson, D. R., & Pempek, T. A. (2005). Television and very young children. American Behavioral Scientist, 48, 505–522. doi:10.1177/0002764204271506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Apple. (2016). Learning with iPad [website]. Retrieved from
  7. Ausubel, D. (1968). Educational psychology: A cognitive view. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.Google Scholar
  8. Barr, R. (2010). Transfer of learning between 2D and 3D sources during infancy: Informing theory and practice. Developmental review, 30, 128–154. doi:10.1016/j.dr.2010.03.001.Google Scholar
  9. Barr, R., Shuck, L., Salerno, K., Atkinson, E., & Linebarger, D. L. (2010). Music interferes with learning from television during infancy. Infant and Child Development, 331, 313–331. doi:10.1002/icd.666.Google Scholar
  10. Barr, R., & Wyss, N. (2008). Reenactment of televised content by 2-year olds: Toddlers use language learned from television to solve a difficult imitation problem. Infant Behavior & Development, 31, 696–703. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2008.04.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Barr, R., Wyss, N., & Somanader, M. (2009). The influence of electronic sound effects on learning from televised and live models. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 103, 1–16. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2009.03.001.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Benassi, V., Overson, C. E., & Hakala, C. (Eds.). (2014). Applying science of learning in education: Infusing psychological science into the curriculum. Retrieved from
  13. Bonawitz, E., Shafto, P., Gweon, H., Goodman, N. D., Spelke, E., & Schulz, L. (2011). The double-edged sword of pedagogy: Instruction limits spontaneous exploration and discovery. Cognition, 120, 322–330. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2010.10.001.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Booth, A. E., & Waxman, S. R. (2002). Object names and object functions serve as cues to categories for infants. Developmental Psychology, 38, 948–957. doi: 10.1037//0012-1649.38.6.948.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Borun, M., Chambers, M., & Cleghorn, A. (1996). Families are learning in science museums. Curator: The Museum Journal, 39, 123–138. doi: 10.1111/j.2151-6952.1996.tb01084.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Bransford, J. B., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (Eds.). (1999). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  17. Brown, P. C., Roediger, H. L., & McDaniel, M. A. (2014). Make it stick: The science of successful learning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Calvert, S. L., & Richards, M. N. (2014). Children’s parasocial relationships with media characters. In A. Jordan & D. Romer (Eds.), Media and the well being of children and adolescents (pp. 187–200). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Chi, M. T. H. (2009). Active-Constructive-Interactive: A conceptual framework for differentiating learning activities. Topics in Cognitive Science, 1, 73–105. doi: 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2008.01005.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chiong, C., & DeLoache, J. S. (2012). Learning the ABCs: What kinds of picture books facilitate young children’s learning? Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 13, 225–241. doi: 10.1177/1468798411430091.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Choudhury, N., & Gorman, K. S. (2000). The relationship between sustained attention and cognitive performance in 17–24-month old toddlers. Infant and Child Development, 146, 127–146. doi: 10.1002/1522-7219(200009)9:3<127::AID-ICD225>3.0.CO;2-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. City of New York, Office of the Mayor. (2014). Mayor de Blasio details tech investments in city schools to close achievement gap and better prepare all students for the workforce [press release]. Retrieved from
  23. Common Sense Media. (2013). Zero to eight: Children’s media use in America, a common sense media research study. Retrieved from
  24. Corporation for Public Broadcasting. (2011). Findings from ready to learn 2005–2010. Washington, DC: Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Retrieved from
  25. Coyne, M. D., McCoach, D. B., & Kapp, S. (2007). Vocabulary intervention for kindergarten students: Comparing extended instruction to embedded instruction and incidental exposure. Learning Disability Quarterly, 30, 74–88. doi: 10.2307/30035543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Darling-Hammond, L., & Adamson, F. (Eds.). (2014). Beyond the bubble test: How performance assessments support 21st century learning. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  27. DeCaro, M. S., & Rittle-Johnson, B. (2012). Exploring mathematics problems prepares children to learn from instruction. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 113, 552–568. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2012.06.009.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. DeLoache, J. S., Chiong, C., Sherman, K., Islam, N., Vanderborght, M., Troseth, G. L., et al. (2010). Do babies learn from baby media? Psychological Science, 21, 1570–1574. doi: 10.1177/0956797610384145.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Demers, L. B., Hanson, K. G., Kirkorian, H. L., Pempek, T. A., & Anderson, D. R. (2013). Infant gaze following during parent-infant coviewing of baby videos. Child Development, 84, 591–603. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01868.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Dickinson, D. K., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. M., Nicolopoulou, A., & Collins, M. F. (2013, April 19). The Read-Play-Learn intervention and research design. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development in Seattle, WA.Google Scholar
  31. Dietz, S., & Henrich, C. (2014). Texting as a distraction to learning in college students. Computers in Human Behavior, 36, 163–167. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.03.045.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Dillon, S. (2009, April 29). ‘No Child’ law is not closing a racial gap. The New York Times. Retrieved from
  33. Dixon, W. E., Salley, B. J., & Clements, A. D. (2006). Temperament, distraction, and learning in toddlerhood. Infant Behavior & Development, 29, 342–357. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2006.01.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Dunst, C. J., Gorman, E., & Hamby, D. W. (2010). Effects of adult verbal and vocal contingent responsiveness on increases in infant vocalizations. Center for Early Literacy, 3, 1–11. Retrieved from Scholar
  35. Fisch, S. M., & McCann, S. K. (1993). Making broadcast television participate: Eliciting mathematical behavior through Square One TV. Educational Technology Research and Development, 41, 103–109. doi: 10.1007/BF02297360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Fisher, A. V., Godwin, K. E., & Seltman, H. (2014). Visual environment, attention allocation, and learning in young children: When too much of a good thing may be bad. Psychological Science, 25, 1362–1370. doi: 10.1177/0956797614533801.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Fisher, K. R., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Newcombe, N., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2013). Taking shape: Supporting preschoolers’ acquisition of geometric knowledge through guided play. Child Development, 84, 1872–1878. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12091.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Fredricks, J. A., Blumenfeld, P. C., & Paris, A. H. (2004). School engagement: Potential of the concept, state of the evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74, 59–109. doi: 10.3102/00346543074001059.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Goldstein, M. H., & Schwade, J. A. (2008). Social feedback to infants’ babbling facilitates rapid phonological learning. Psychological Science, 19, 515–523. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02117.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Golinkoff, R. M., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2016). Becoming brilliant: What science tells us about raising successful children. Washington, DC: APA Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Gray, P. (2013). Free to learn: Why unleashing the instinct to play will make our children happier, more self reliant and better students for life. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  42. Gros-Louis, J., West, M. J., & King, A. P. (2014). Maternal responsiveness and the development of directed vocalizing in social interactions. Infancy, 19, 385–408. doi: 10.1111/infa.12054.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Guernsey, L. (2014). New America: Education Policy Program. Envisioning a digital age architecture [Policy brief]. Retrieved from
  44. Haden, C. A. (2002). Talking about science in museums. Child Development, 4, 62–67. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-8606.2009.00119.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Han, M., Moore, N., Vukelich, C., & Buell, M. (2010). Does play make a difference? How play intervention affects the vocabulary learning of at-risk preschoolers. American Journal of Play, 3, 82–105.Google Scholar
  46. Hargrave, A., & Sénéchal, M. (2000). A book reading intervention with preschool children who have limited vocabularies: The benefits of regular reading and dialogic reading. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 90, 75–90. doi: 10.1016/S0885-2006(99)00038-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Hinyard, L. J., & Kreuter, M. W. (2007). Using narrative communication as a tool for health behavior change: A conceptual, theoretical, and empirical overview. Health Education & Behavior, 34, 777–792. doi: 10.1177/1090198106291963.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2011). The great balancing act: Optimizing core curricula through playful learning. In E. Zigler, W. Gilliam, & S. Barnett (Eds.), The preschool education debates (pp. 110–116). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.Google Scholar
  49. Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. M., Berk, L. E., & Singer, D. G. (2009). A mandate for playful learning in school: Presenting the evidence. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Hirsh-Pasek, K., Zosh, J. M., Golinkoff, R., Gray, J., Robb, M., & Kaufman, J. (2015). Harnessing the science of learning to promote real educational apps. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 16, 3–34. doi: 10.1177/1529100615569721.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Hopkins, E. J., Dore, R. A., & Lillard, A. S. (2015). Do children learn from pretense? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 130, 1–18. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2014.09.004.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Hudson, J., & Nelson, K. (1983). Effects of script structure on children’s story recall. Developmental Psychology, 19, 625–635. doi: 10.1037//0012-1649.19.4.625.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Kannass, K. N., & Colombo, J. (2007). The effects of continuous and intermittent distractors on cognitive performance and attention in preschoolers. Journal of Cognition and Development, 8, 63–77. doi: 10.1080/15248370709336993.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Kannass, K. N., Colombo, J., & Wyss, N. (2010). Now, pay attention! The effects of instruction on children’s attention. Journal of Cognition and Development, 11, 1–18. doi: 10.1080/15248372.2010.516418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Kilaru, A. S., Perrone, J., Auriemma, C. L., Shofer, F. S., Barg, F. K., & Meisel, Z. F. (2014). Evidence-based narratives to improve recall of opioid prescribing guidelines: A randomized experiment. Academic Emergency Medicine, 21, 244–249. doi: 10.1111/acem.12326.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Klahr, D., & Nigam, M. (2004). The equivalence of learning paths in early science instruction: Effect of direct instruction and discovery learning. Psychological Science, 15, 661–667. doi: 10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00737.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Kotler, J. A., Schiffman, J. M., & Hanson, K. G. (2012). The influence of media characters on children’s food choices. Journal of Health Communication, 17, 886–898. doi: 10.1080/10810730.2011.650822.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Krcmar, M., & Cingel, D. P. (2014). Parent–child joint reading in traditional and electronic formats. Media Psychology, 17, 262–281. doi: 10.1080/15213269.2013.840243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Krcmar, M., Grela, B., & Lin, K. (2007). Can toddlers learn vocabulary from television? An experimental approach. Media Psychology, 10, 41–63. doi:10.108/15213260701300931.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Kuhl, P. K., Tsao, F.-M., & Liu, H.-M. (2003). Foreign-language experience in infancy: Effects of short-term exposure and social interaction on phonetic learning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 100, 9096–9101. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1532872100.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Lauricella, A. R., Barr, R., & Calvert, S. L. (2014). Parent–child interactions during traditional and computer storybook reading for children’s comprehension: Implications for electronic storybook design. International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction, 2, 17–25. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcci.2014.07.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Lauricella, A. R., Gola, A. A. H., & Calvert, S. L. (2011). Toddlers’ learning from socially meaningful video characters. Media Psychology, 14, 216–232. doi: 10.1080/15213269.2011.573465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Libertus, K., & Needham, A. (2010). Teach to reach: The effects of active vs. passive reaching experiences on action and perception. Vision Research, 50, 2750–2757. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2010.09.001.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Linebarger, D. N., Brey, E., Fenstermacher, S., & Barr, R. (2016). What makes preschool educational television educational? A content analysis of literacy, language-promoting, and prosocial preschool programming. In R. Barr & D. N. Linebarger (Eds.), Media exposure during infancy and early childhood: The effects of content and context on learning and development. New York: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-45102-2_7.Google Scholar
  65. Linebarger, D. L., & Walker, D. (2005). Infants’ and toddlers’ television viewing and language outcomes. American Behavioral Scientist, 48, 624–645. doi: 10.1177/0002764204271505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Martin, A., Razza, R., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2012). Sustained attention at age 5 predicts attention-related problems at age 9. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 36, 413–419. doi: 10.1177/0165025412450527.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Mayer, R. E. (2014). Research-based principles for designing multimedia instruction. In V. A. Benassi, C. E. Overson & C. M. Hakala (Eds.), Applying science of learning in education: Infusing psychological science into the curriculum. Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology website:
  68. McClure, E., & Barr, R. (2016). Building family relationships from a distance: Supporting connections with babies and toddlers using video and video chat. In R. Barr & D. N. Linebarger (Eds.), Media exposure during infancy and early childhood: The effects of content and context on learning and development. New York: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-45102-2_15.Google Scholar
  69. Nagy, W. E., Herman, P. A., & Anderson, R. C. (1985). Learning words from context. Reading Research Quarterly, 20, 233–253. doi: 10.2307/747758.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Neuman, S. B., Kaefer, T., Pinkham, A., & Strouse, G. (2014). Can babies learn to read? A randomized trial of baby media. Journal of Educational Psychology, 106, 815–830. doi: 10.1037/a0035937.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Neville, H. J., Stevens, C., Pakulak, E., Bell, T. A., Fanning, J., Klein, S., et al. (2013). Family-based training program improves brain function, cognition, and behavior in lower socioeconomic status preschoolers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 110, 12138–12143. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1304437110.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Novak, J. D. (2002). Meaningful learning: The essential factor for conceptual change in limited or inappropriate propositional hierarchies leading to empowerment of learners. Science Education, 86, 548–571. doi: 10.1002/sce.10032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2012). Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Results from 2012: United States. Retrieved from
  74. Parish-Morris, J., Mahajan, N., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. M., & Collins, M. F. (2013). Once upon a time: Parent-child dialogue and storybook reading in the electronic era. Mind, Brain, and Education, 7, 200–211. doi: 10.1111/mbe.12028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Pellegrino, J. W. (2012). From cognitive principles to instructional practices: The devil is often in the details. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 1, 260–262. doi: 10.1016/j.jarmac.2012.10.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Pellegrino, J. W., & Hilton, M. L. (Eds.). (2013). Education for life and work: Developing transferable knowledge and skills in the 21st century. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.Google Scholar
  77. Piotrowski, J. T., Linebarger, D. L., & Jennings, N. A. (2009). Assessing the impact of Between the Lions and literacy manipulatives on the literacy skills of young children. Philadelphia, PA: Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania.Google Scholar
  78. Ramani, G. B., & Siegler, R. S. (2008). Promoting broad and stable improvements in low-income children’s numerical knowledge through playing number board games. Child Development, 79, 375–394. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2007.01131.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Ravitch, D. (2010). The life and death of the great American school system: How testing and choice are undermining education. New York, NY: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  80. Reed, J., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (submitted for publication). Learning on hold: Cell phones sidetrack parent-child interactions.Google Scholar
  81. Reiser, R. A., Tessmer, M. A., & Phelps, P. C. (1984). Adult-child interaction in children’s learning from “Sesame Street”. Educational Communication and Technology, 32, 217–223. doi: 10.1007/BF02768893.Google Scholar
  82. Reiser, R. A., Williamson, N., & Suzuki, K. (1988). Using “Sesame Street” to facilitate children’s recognition of letters and numbers. Educational Communication and Technology, 36, 15–21. doi: 10.1007/BF02770013.Google Scholar
  83. Rice, M. L., Huston, A. C., Truglio, R., & Wright, J. C. (1990). Words from “Sesame Street”: Learning vocabulary while viewing. Developmental Psychology, 26, 421–428. doi: 10.1037//0012-1649.26.3.421.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Richards, M. N., & Calvert, S. L. (2016). Media characters, parasocial relationships, and the social aspects of children’s learning across media platforms. In R. Barr & D. N. Linebarger (Eds.), Media exposure during infancy and early childhood: The effects of content and context on learning and development. New York: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-45102-2_9.Google Scholar
  85. Richert, R. A., Shawber, A. B., Hoffman, R. E., & Taylor, M. (2009). Learning from fantasy and real characters in preschool and kindergarten. Journal of Cognition and Development, 10, 41–66. doi: 10.1080/15248370902966594.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Rideout, M. A., Foehr, U. G., & Roberts, D. F. (2010). A Kaiser Family Foundation Study. Menlo Park, CA: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Generation M2: Media in the lives of 8- to 18-year-olds, Retrieved from Scholar
  87. Roediger, H. L. (2014, July 18). How tests make us smarter. The New York Times. Retrieved from
  88. Roseberry, S., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Parish-Morris, J., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2009). Live action: Can young children learn verbs from video? Child Development, 80, 1360–1375. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01338.x.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Roseberry, S., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2014). Skype me! Socially contingent interactions help toddlers learn language. Child Development, 85, 956–970. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12166.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Sana, F., Weston, T., & Cepeda, N. J. (2013). Laptop multitasking hinders classroom learning for both users and nearby peers. Computers & Education, 62, 24–31. doi: 10.1016/j.compedu.2012.10.003.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Sawyer, R. K. (Ed.). (2006). The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  92. Schmidt, M., Pempek, T., Kirkorian, H. L., Lund, A. F., & Anderson, D. R. (2008). The effects of background television on the toy play behavior of very young children. Child Development, 79, 1137–1151. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01180.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Schmitt, K. (2015, March). Comparisons of parent-child interactions while reading interactive and traditional books. In K. Schmitt (chair) Parent-child interactions with books and other media. Paper symposium presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Philadelphia, PA.Google Scholar
  94. Schwamborn, A., Mayer, R. E., Thillmann, H., Leopold, C., & Leutner, D. (2010). Drawing as a generative activity and drawing as a prognostic activity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102, 872–879. doi: 10.1037/a0019640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Scofield, J., & Williams, A. (2009). Do 2-year-olds disambiguate and extend words learned from video? First Language, 29, 228–240. doi: 10.1177/0142723708101681.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Sénéchal, M., Thomas, E., & Monker, J. (1995). Individual differences in 4-year-old children’s acquisition of vocabulary during storybook reading. Journal of Educational Psychology, 87, 218–229. doi: 10.1037/0022-0663.87.2.218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Sesen, B. A., & Tarhan, L. (2010). Promoting active learning in high school chemistry: Learning achievement and attitude. Procedia—Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2, 2625–2630. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2010.03.384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  98. Shuell, T. J. (1990). Phases of meaningful learning. Review of Educational Research, 60, 531–547. doi: 10.3102/00346543060004531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  99. Siegler, R. S., & Ramani, G. B. (2009). Playing linear number board games—but not circular ones—improves low-income preschoolers’ numerical understanding. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 545–560. doi: 10.1037/a0014239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  100. Sigel, I. E. (1987). Does hothousing rob children of their childhood? Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 2, 211–225. doi: 10.1016/0885-2006(87)90031-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Simensky, L. (2016). Character development in practice: How producers craft engaging characters to drive content delivery: Commentary on chapter 9. In R. Barr & D. N. Linebarger (Eds.), Media exposure during infancy and early childhood: The effects of content and context on learning and development. New York: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-45102-2_10.Google Scholar
  102. Sommerville, J. A., Woodward, A. L., & Needham, A. (2005). Action experience alters 3-month-old infants’ perception of others’ actions. Cognition, 96, 1–11. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2004.07.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Strand-Cary, M., & Klahr, D. (2008). Developing elementary science skills: Instructional effectiveness and path independence. Cognitive Development, 23, 488–511. doi: 10.1016/j.cogdev.2008.09.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  104. Strommen, E. F. (2000). Interactive toy characters as interfaces for children. In Information appliances and beyond: Interactive design for consumer products (pp. 257–298). New York, NY: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers.Google Scholar
  105. Strouse, G. A., O’Doherty, K., & Troseth, G. L. (2013). Effective coviewing: Preschoolers’ learning from video after a dialogic questioning intervention. Developmental Psychology, 49, 2368–2382. doi: 10.1037/a0032463.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  106. Tamis-LeMonda, C. S., Bornstein, M. H., Kahana-Kalman, R., Baumwell, L., & Cyphers, L. (1998). Predicting variation in the timing of linguistic milestones in the second year: An events-history approach. Journal of Child Language, 25, 675–700. doi: 10.1017/S0305000998003572.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  107. Tamis-LeMonda, C. S., Bornstein, M. H., & Baumwell, L. (2001). Maternal responsiveness and children’s achievement of language milestones. Child Development, 72, 748–767. doi: 10.1111/1467-8624.00313.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  108. Tamis-LeMonda, C. S., Kuchirko, Y., & Song, L. (2014). Why is infant language learning facilitated by parental responsiveness? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23, 121–126. doi: 10.1177/0963721414522813.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  109. Tare, M., Chiong, C., Ganea, P., & DeLoache, J. (2010). Less is more: How manipulative features affect children’s learning from picture books. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 31, 395–400. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2010.06.005.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  110. Troseth, G., Saylor, M., & Archer, A. (2006). Young children’s use of video as a source of socially relevant information. Child Development, 77, 786–799. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2006.00903.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  111. Walls, C., & Steptoe, S. (2006, December 10). How to bring our schools out of the 20th century. Time Magazine. Retrieved from,9171,1568480,00.html.
  112. Watson, J. M., & Strayer, D. L. (2010). Supertaskers: Profiles in extraordinary multitasking ability. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 17, 479–485. doi: 10.3758/PBR.17.4.479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  113. Weisberg, D. S. (2015). Pretend play. WIREs Cognitive Science, 6, 249–261. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1341.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  114. Weisberg, D. S., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R. M., & McCandliss, B. D. (2014). Mise en place: Setting the stage for thought and action. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18, 276–278. doi: 10.1016/j.tics.2014.02.012.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  115. Weisberg, D. S., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. M. (2013). Embracing complexity: Rethinking the relation between play and learning: Comment on Lillard et al. (2013). Psychological Bulletin, 139, 35–39. doi:  10.1037/a0030077.
  116. Weisberg, D. S., Ilgaz, H., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R., Nicolopoulou, A., & Dickinson, D. K. (2015). Shovels and swords: How realistic and fantastical themes affect children’s word learning. Cognitive Development, 35, 1–14. doi: 10.1016/j.cogdev.2014.11.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  117. Wright, J. C., & Huston, A. C. (1983). A matter of form: Potentials of television for young viewers. American Psychologist, 38, 835–843.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  118. Zhang, Z. H., & Linn, M. C. (2011). Can generating representations enhance learning with dynamic visualizations? Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48, 1177–1198. doi: 10.1002/tea.20443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  119. Zosh, J. M., Brinster, M., & Halberda, J. (2013). Optimal contrast: Competition between two referents improves word learning. Applied Developmental Science, 17, 20–28. doi: 10.1080/10888691.2013.748420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  120. Zosh, J. M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Golinkoff, R. (2016). Guided play. In D. L. Couchenour & K. Chrisman (Eds.), Encyclopedia of contemporary early childhood education (pp. 645–646). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  121. Zosh, J. M., Reed, J., Golinkoff, R., & Hirsh-Pasek, K. (2014). Play and its role in language development. In P. Brooks, V. Kempe, & G. J. Golson (Eds.), Encyclopedia of language development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Reference.Google Scholar
  122. Zosh, J. M., Verdine, B., Fillipowitz, A., Golinkoff, R. M., Hirsh-Pasek, K., & Newcombe, N. (2015). Talking shape: Parental language with electronic vs. traditional shape sorters. Mind, Brain, and Education, 9, 136–144. doi: 10.1111/mbe.12082.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jennifer M. Zosh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sarah Roseberry Lytle
    • 2
  • Roberta Michnick Golinkoff
    • 3
  • Kathy Hirsh-Pasek
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Pennsylvania State UniversityBrandywine, 25 Yearsley Mill RdUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences, University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.University of DelawareNewarkUSA
  4. 4.Temple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.The Brookings InstitutionWashington, DCUSA

Personalised recommendations