15th March 2013

Children at three Brisbane community kindergartens are showing QUT researchers how they use iPads to take photos and tell their own stories in a new study aimed at understanding how parents and children could use iPads to enhance literacy.

Researchers from QUT's Children and Youth Research Centre are following children's iPad use for a year in the Caboolture East, Bracken Ridge and Sunnybank community kindergartens run by The Gowrie Queensland.

Children and Youth Research Centre deputy director Dr Michael Dezuanni said the involvement of parents in helping their children to learn with iPads was a feature of the study.

"Our focus is to look at ways we can use iPads in literacy and arts education," Dr Dezuanni said.

"As many parents will tell you, even very young children are using tablets at home to play games, for entertainment and for learning.

"We are particularly interested in how young children can use apps to create stories by taking digital photographs, drawing and recording their voices."

Dr Dezuanni said the research team would run parent workshops in the kindergartens to help parents use the iPads with their children at home.

"We want to assist parents to introduce their children to reading and storytelling using the iPads," he said.

"We are very interested to see if they can provide families who have don't have access to a children's library with the opportunity to read more with their children.

"Once parents have completed the workshops, families without access to iPads will be able to borrow one for a week."

Caboolture East, Bracken Ridge and Sunnybank community kindergartens are run by The Gowrie Queensland. The study is funded by the Ian Potter Foundation and QUT and supported by The Gowrie.

Media contact: Niki Widdowson, QUT media, 07 3138 2999 or n.widdowson@qut.edu.au

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