Summary of the Systematic Review

Article Citation

Apps As Learning Tools: A Systematic Review

Griffith, S. F., Hagan, M. B., et al. (2020).
Pediatrics, 145(1), Article e20191579.
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Sponsoring Body

No funding received

Article Quality Ratings

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Indicators of Review Quality

  • Yes The review states a clearly focused question/aim.
  • Yes Criteria for inclusion of studies are provided.
  • Yes Search strategy described in sufficient detail for replication.
  • Yes Included studies are assessed for study quality.
  • No Quality assessments are reproducible.
  • Yes Characteristics of the included studies are provided.

Article Details


This is a review of quasi-experimental design and randomized controlled trial studies investigating touchscreen application learning in children. This conclusions below only focus on the effects of touchscreen learning applications in children with autism spectrum disorder.

Questions/Aims Addressed

The following research questions were addressed:
  • Can children less than six years of age learn from using interactive touchscreen apps?
  • What content subjects or skills are best suited to touchscreen app learning?
  • How does learning compare between touchscreen interactive app games to other instructional contexts, such as in-person instruction or educational video?


Children with and without disabilities


Touchscreen/interactive learning applications

Number of Studies Included


Years Included

Between January 2008 and January 22, 2019

Conclusions from This Systematic Review

What are Conclusions?

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A limited number of studies investigated the effects of interactive apps on social communication skills in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Findings indicated that touchscreen apps may not be the best approach to support social communication skills in children with ASD, but further research in this area was suggested.

Keywords: Computer/Technology/Video-Based Instruction, Social Communication

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