Literature Review: How Do Education Apps Affect the Development of Students, Reading Comprehension

Literature Review: How Do Education Apps Affect the Development of Students, Reading Comprehension


Educational apps are part of new technological inventions that are being used in the education system to influence the development of students in academics. These apps enhance learning process especially through delivery or resources. Students of course require a variety of tools to aid in the process of gaining knowledge in school (Northrop & Killeen, 2013). In the current digital world, technology has been incorporated into the education system as part of the learning tools to influence the development of students and their reading comprehension. The education apps are significant to the whole process of reading comprehension and affect the development of students. Hence they are relevant to the whole education system. This problem is important because it’s part of the education system.

Problem statement

Technology is currently an enhancement in education as it supplements the consistent writing and reading order. Having a more developed learning approach implies that there are more advantages especially when the learning curriculum is dictated by the digital tools. Integrating educational apps clearly supports the comprehension of knowledge in the 21st century and creation of a digital class. However, there are also weaknesses tied to the digital tools. Therefore, as much as the digital tools are effective, they also have to be regulated to ensure they do not impact negatively on the education system.

Purpose of study

The main purpose of this study was to critically study and evaluates the impact of educational apps in the academic development of students and the influence of the apps on their reading skills. This was examined based on the different environments, whether at school or at home and how the apps promote the learning process. Some students have both mental and physical disparities and the apps can have significant effects on their lives, whether positive or negative (Davis, Christodoulou, Seider & Gardner, 2011).

Background of the problem

The education apps affect students’ development and their understanding of knowledge in different ways (Cheungn & Slavin, 2013). The two authors argue that, as part of the reading and writing process, technology widely influences the students’ experiences and knowledge through texts. Several digital tools such as the e-books, simplified dictionaries, and vocabulary supports apps will increase their reading volume by providing them with sufficient and efficient sources. Education resources become easily available to the students and can be accessed in the shortest time possible. New opportunities become consistent and always open as resources for their learning. This implies that the students have a wide range of materials and in different forms, hence the chances of having crucial and personal links are very high and easily accessed through texts by the click of a button or touch of a screen. Students’ reading skills are promoted by the easy ways of sharing information using the apps (Cheungn & Slavin, 2013). They cooperate through open debates and discussions on different relevant issues through the digital spaces thus developing their reading and writing skills.

Reasons of low comprehension in reading are attributed to time wasting (Northrop & Killeen, 2013). Their minds are mostly absorbed in having fun and playing games with no limitation. Sometimes the assurance of whether the students are much more responsible when using such apps becomes limited. Some of the students might be busy learning how to read while others might be engaged in games and having fun (Northrop & Killeen, 2013). Understanding of the apps takes time hence influencing their reading skills. Poverty affects some students since they can’t access such apps or gain admission in developed schools. Students’ culture might be too wide sometimes with second languages (Zipke, 2014). It becomes difficult for such students to learn different languages since they are likely to mix the lessons.

Education apps can effectively apply as a guideline to develop early skills and significantly assist to initiate the learning process in children (Northrop & Killeen, 2013). The author states how the use of iPads, smartphones and tablets while they are still at home and during the early stages in school. Such digital tools have been confirmed to create many opportunities in the use of technology. Different educational apps are usually installed in the devices and they end up being significant to the teachers and other education service providers (Northrop & Killeen, 2013). The students develop since successful opportunities are available to link the home learning activities and school learning process.

The apps have a likelihood of either containing or having irrelevant and incorrect material that might mislead the students. On the other hand, some students are unable to effectively access such digital devices hence their learning progress becomes difficult. Their inability makes it hard for them to even turn the devices on or navigate around the different parts of the apps. The educators experience lots of drawbacks having to work with such students. A class with such kinds of disparities where some students can use educational apps while others cannot is reflected in the general performance of the students (Wood & Jocius, 2014).

Part of the solution to the problem of struggling readers is the incorporation of the educational technological apps (Northrop & Killeen, 2013). Northrop explores the presence of struggling readers in a class can also be reflected in the use of the educational apps. Some students will absorb the technology while others will take time hence their success in reading and writing becomes low. The use of educational apps is significant to struggling readers although the influence is still low. Struggling readers especially in the early classes have a higher risk of performing poorly leading to other challenges such as dropouts and behavior change.

Use of educational apps to access e-books has also made learning easy since such resources can be accessed in different environments. The accessibility of the apps in different settings whether in school or at home can sometimes influence the student’s character. Children will have a tendency to disrespect their parents or the people around them because of the reading pressure. The quality of the e-books can also be questionable with some children accessing materials that are not necessary at their educational grades (Zipke, 2014). They are influenced to develop complex ideas at the early stages of life hence affecting their social development. Consistent reading of adult e-books by children is therefore irrelevant since it does not promote learning in the early grades. There are children e-books which should be accessed by the children because such material impacts positive by adding more knowledge and experience to their education system. Page and Zipke have similar opinion; they both argue that the use of e-books in the modern world is a key tool in enhancing the reading culture since the children are more motivated especially by choice. The e-books are effectively designed with the addition of features such as dictionaries hence increasing their comprehension of academic knowledge (Page, 2014; Zipke, 2014).

Assessment: influence of the apps

Educational apps influence students’ development by encouraging them to learn and acting as supplementary teaching devices.

  • Such apps tend to increase the speed of knowledge absorption by the students especially at the elementary grades hence supporting their academic growth and development.
  • At this early stage in life, students’ attitudes towards educational technology and the general digital world is shaped (Ciampa, 2014). While in class, the students remain active and focused on the apps and they do not shift their minds to other places hence the class becomes continuously fresh and interactive.
  • Students’ self-esteem is influenced and the motivation steers them to always come to school and learn new ideas.
  • Educational apps in class thus control their academic work and improve their social skills like interacting and other interpersonal skills. Most of them will have supportive opinions on technology and therefore as they grow, they easily adopt to new technological advancements.

It is evident that the children are set and prepared for the future in the modern digital world. There are many technological advancements and students have to be prepared by creating positive attitudes to technology. The use of education apps will develop the positive mind and therefore at an early age, students would have already developed proficiency in technological skills and educational knowledge that is relevant in the current digital world (Delacruz, 2014).

Method: Multiple Intelligences: Gardner’s Theory

Based on Gardner’s Theory as part of the seven intelligences, the Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence refers to the capacity to use one’s mental abilities to bring together one’s own body natural actions. This intelligence differs with the accepted idea that mental and physical activities are not linked (Davis, Christodoulou, Seider & Gardner, 2011).


Naturally, students are usually different with different mental abilities to think and integrate the necessary knowledge in class. Traditionally, all students could sit in class and the teacher would then deliver his or her lesson and then leave. Students are not the same and this means that some might have understood while others still struggling. During examination time, reality is reflected especially with the poor performers. However, in the modern world, educational technology has had significant impact on the learning process of the students. Introduction of educational apps implies that the students will learn at their own pace. Education apps allow the students to access instructions and additional information on a subject. Apps allow them to retain the subject information and learn at a pace that is much comfortable to them. Assignments can be completed at their own speed and they work under no pressure (Möller, 2015).

In conclusion, the educational apps directly affect the development of students and their reading understanding. The world is changing and in the 21st century, there are more technological advancements and the students ought to be prepared to handle them. The apps influence their learning by supporting the reading and writing processes in different settings whether at home or while in school as explored by Gardner’s Theory. However, there are also some weaknesses to the use of apps hence the educators have to ensure that they control the use of apps so that students are limited to access only the relevant information. My ability and knowledge as a future teacher are based on this idea of incorporating all the relevant apps into the education system and make it smooth all the time. Changes in me include addition of more skills through learning so that am able to handle the students based on different capacities. The idea of learning new ideas is a challenge but I trust my proficiency and I hope to improve even better and increase my experience in teaching.


Cheung, A. C., & Slavin, R. E. (2013). Effects of Educational Technology Applications on Reading Outcomes for Struggling Readers: A Best‐Evidence Synthesis. Reading Research Quarterly, 48(3), 277-299.

Ciampa, K. (2014). Learning in a mobile age: an investigation of student motivation. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 30(1), 82-96.

Davis, K., Christodoulou, J., Seider, S., & Gardner, H. (2011). The theory of multiple intelligences. The Cambridge handbook of intelligence, 485-503.

Delacruz, S. (2014). Using Nearpod in elementary guided reading groups. TechTrends, 58(5), 62-69.

Möller, K. J. (2015). Apps in Literature-Based Classroom Instruction: Integrating Reading and Response through Traditional and Digital Media. Journal of Children’s Literature, 41(1), 54.

Northrop, L., & Killeen, E. (2013). A framework for using iPads to build early literacy skills. The Reading Teacher, 66(7), 531-537.

Page, T. (2014). Application-based mobile devices in design education. International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation, 8(2), 96-111.

Wood, S. & Jocius, R. (2014). Beyond Fun and Games. The Reading Teacher 68(2), 129–133

Zipke, M. (2014). Building an E‐Book Library. The Reading Teacher, 67(5), 375-383.

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