Improving learning outcomes: The iPad and preschool children with disabilities

Linda Chmiliar

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The digital age has reached early childhood, and the use of touch screens by young children is common place. Research on the use of touch screen tablets with young children is becoming more prevalent; however, less information is available on the use of touch screen tablets to support young children with disabilities. Touch screen tablets may offer possibilities to preschool children with disabilities to participate in learning in a digital way. The iPad provides easy interaction on the touch screen and access to a multitude of engaging early learning applications. This paper summarizes a pilot study with 8 young children with disabilities included in a preschool classroom, who were given iPads to use in class and at home for a period of 21 weeks. Systematic observations, classroom assessments, and teacher and parent interviews documented the improvements in learning outcomes for each child in many areas including, but not limited to: shape and color recognition, letter recognition, and tracing letters throughout six research cycles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number660
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberMAY
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2017


  • Disabilities
  • IPads
  • Preschool
  • Tablets
  • Touch screen


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