Literature Review



HowDo Education Apps (Applications) Affect the Development of Students’Reading Comprehension

Technologyenhances the quality of students’ education since it supplementsinstructional methods and assists students’ learning depending ontheir individual needs (Cheungn&amp Slavin, 2013 Davis, Christodoulou, Seider &amp Gardner, 2011Pellegrino,2010).It is an advanced method of learning and has its various advantagesespecially when the learning curriculum is dictated by the digitaltools. Recent research (Cheungn&amp Slavin, 2013)indicated that technology apps positively impacted students’development and their understanding of knowledge. Hence,the 21st Century teacher must be able to effectively and efficientlyutilize technological tools to teach and assess their students`learning (Pellegrino, 2010). Despiteincreasing number of ways to integrate technology in dailyinstruction, many teachers are still unconvinced of the benefits oftechnology use in their classrooms and its effect on students’literacy development. Hence, students with diverse needs struggle toattend to traditional tasks and fall further behind their peers. Thiscould be particularly evident in at risk students and the continuousincrease in student drop out in high schools (Cheungn&amp Slavin, 2013).Thus, this study examines the effect of utilizing technology apps onstudents’ reading comprehension skills. The findings from thisstudy helps in understanding the importance of utilizing technologyapps in the classroom and bring clarity to the type of apps that aremore likely to enhance students’ reading comprehension scores.

Whilecreating a digital classroom, and integrating educational appsclearly supports students’ learning of content knowledge, it alsomeets the career/job needs of the 21stcentury. These digital tools are efficient in enhancing students’learning experiences and hence, should be regulated to ensure apositive impact on the educational system, and students’ progress.Accordingto Flory (2012) teaching with technology is debated among educatorssince some educators &nbspbelieve that technology apps do not changestudents’ scores, achievements, and has no effect on their skilldevelopment. However, other research indicated significantimprovements in students’ achievements after using technology appsto teach them (Pellegrino,2010).Findings from Pellegrino’s study indicated many advantages forusing technology apps in the classroom. Some of theseadvantages includeSuchapps tend to increase the speed of knowledge absorption by thestudents especially at the elementary grades, hence supporting theiracademic growth and development. Moreover, at this early stage inlife, students’ attitudes towards educational technology and thegeneral digital world is shaped (Ciampa,2014).While in class, the students remain active and focused on the appsand they do not shift their minds to other places hence the classbecomes continuously fresh and interactive. Another advantage isstudents’ self-esteem influenced and the motivation steers them toalways come to school and learn new ideas. Additionally, technologyapps in class thus control their academic work and improve theirsocial skills like interacting and other interpersonal skills. Mostof them will have supportive opinions on technology and therefore asthey grow, they easily adapt to new technological advancements.

Itis evident that the children are set and prepared for the future inthe modern digital world. There are many technological advancementsand students have to be prepared by creating positive attitudes totechnology. The use of technology apps will develop the positive mindand therefore at an early age, students would have already developedproficiency in technological skills and educational knowledge that isrelevant in the current digital world (Delacruz,2014).


Thereare many education applications which are either relevant to theeducation system or not. What matters is basically how such educationapplications affect the academic growth and development of students’reading understanding at the school level.

Purposeof Study

Thus,the main purpose of this study is to examine the impact of technologyapps on the academic development of students and the influence of thetechnology apps on their reading comprehension skills. Usingtechnology apps was examined based on the different environments, atschool, and home to determine how they enhance the learning process(Davis,Christodoulou, Seider &amp Gardner, 2011).Davis et al., findings indicated that all students benefit from usingthe technology apps including those student with mental and physicaldisparities. The apps had significant effects on their learning andachievement.

Backgroundof the problem

Inrecent years, technology has been on the rise, and &nbspthe use oftechnology is a subject that has caught the attention of educators.There are many types of technology that are used or would be usefulin the classroom for both teaching and learning: computers, smartphones, iPads, digital cameras, softwareapplications,and smart boards. Elementary school, specifically student of 6 to 9ages have become more interactive and engaging as a result of thetechnology used. Recent surveys about the use of technology duringinstruction, show that &nbspstudents tend to understand theirsubjects in schools better when their teachers use current teachingmethods that incorporate technology more than traditional methods areused. Teaching methods that utilize technology have also been shownto have a significant positive influence on students’ readingcomprehension. On the other hand, most researchers have beensuccessful in finding a positive correlation between using technologyin the classrooms and increasing in students’ achievement.Therefore, the purpose of this research will be to find out Howdo education apps (applications) Affect the Development of Students,Reading Comprehension

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

Reasonsof low comprehension in reading are attributed to time wasting(Northrop&amp Killeen, 2013).Their minds are mostly absorbed in having fun and playing games withno limitation. Sometimes the assurance of whether the students aremuch more responsible when using such apps becomes limited. Some ofthe students might be busy learning how to read while others might beengaged in games and having fun (Northrop&amp Killeen, 2013).Understanding of the apps takes time, hence influencing their readingskills. Poverty affects some students since they can’t access suchapps or gain admission in developed schools. Students’ culturemight be too wide sometimes with second languages (Zipke,2014).It becomes difficult for such students to learn different languagessince they are likely to mix the lessons.

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

Theapps have a likelihood of either containing or having irrelevant andincorrect material that might mislead the students. On the otherhand, some students are unable to effectively access such digitaldevices, hence their learning progress becomes difficult. Theirinability makes it hard for them to even turn the devices on ornavigate around the different parts of the apps. The educatorsexperience lots of drawbacks having to work with such students. Aclass with such kinds of disparities where some students can useeducational apps while others cannot is reflected in the generalperformance of the students (Wood &amp Jocius, 2014).

Partof the solution to the problem of struggling readers is theincorporation of the educational technological apps (Northrop&amp Killeen, 2013).Northropexplores the presence of struggling readers in a class can also bereflected in the use of the educational apps. Some students willabsorb the technology while others will take time hence their successin reading and writing becomes low. The use of educational apps issignificant to struggling readers although the influence is stilllow. Struggling readers especially in the early classes have a higherrisk of performing poorly leading to other challenges such asdropouts and behavior change.

Useof educational apps to access e-books has also made learning easysince such resources can be accessed in different environments. Theaccessibility of the apps in different settings whether in school orat home can sometimes influence the student’s character. Childrenwill have a tendency to disrespect their parents or the people aroundthem because of the reading pressure. The quality of the e-books canalso be questionable with some children accessing materials that arenot necessary at their educational grades (Zipke,2014).They are influenced to develop complex ideas at the early stages oflife hence affecting their social development. Consistent reading ofadult e-books by children is therefore irrelevant since it does notpromote learning in the early grades. There are children e-bookswhich should be accessed by the children because such materialimpacts positive by adding more knowledge and experience to theireducation system. Pageand Zipke have similar opinion they both argue thatthe use of e-books in the modern world is a key tool in enhancing thereading culture since the children are more motivated especially bychoice. The e-books are effectively designed with the addition offeatures such as dictionaries hence increasing their comprehension ofacademic knowledge (Page,2014 Zipke, 2014).


Naturally,students are usually different with different mental abilities tothink and integrate the necessary knowledge in class. Traditionally,all students could sit in class and the teacher would then deliverhis or her lesson and then leave. Students are not the same and thismeans that some might have understood while others still struggling.During the examination time, reality is reflected especially with thepoor performers. However, in the modern world, educational technologyhas had significant impact on the learning process of the students.Introduction of educational apps implies that the students will learnat their own pace. Education apps allow the students to accessinstructions and additional information on a subject. Apps allow themto retain the subject information and learn at a pace that is muchcomfortable to them. Assignments can be completed at their own speedand they work under no pressure (Möller,2015).


Inconclusion, the educational apps directly affect the development ofstudents and their reading understanding. The world is changing andin the 21stcentury, there are more technological advancements and the studentsought to be prepared to handle them. The apps influence theirlearning by supporting the reading and writing processes in differentsettings whether at home or while in school as explored by Gardner’sTheory. However, there are also some weaknesses to the use of appshence the educators have to ensure that they control the use of appsso that students are limited to access only the relevant information.


Cheung,A. C., &amp Slavin, R. E. (2013). Effects of Educational TechnologyApplications on Reading Outcomes for Struggling Readers: ABest‐EvidenceSynthesis. ReadingResearch Quarterly,48(3),277-299.

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

Davis,K., Christodoulou, J., Seider, S., &amp Gardner, H. (2011). Thetheory of multiple intelligences. TheCambridge 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 DigitalMedia. Journalof Children`s Literature,41(1),54.

Northrop,L., &amp Killeen, E. (2013). A framework for using iPads to buildearly literacy skills. TheReading Teacher,66(7),531-537.

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

Flory,V. (2012). The effect of interactive whiteboard technology on a mathcurriculum unit.

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

Zipke,M. (2014). Building an E‐BookLibrary. TheReading Teacher,67(5),375-383.

Pellegrino,J, S. (2010). Perspectives on the integration of technology andassessment.