With the rise in popularity of electronic devices, more and more children are relying on Apps to aid their learning. With new Apps continually being developed, offering enhanced user experiences and valuable content, it opens the door to a new kind of problem.
Last week, Wu Beiyue, a student from Ma'anshan No.2 Junior School, was given the assignment to quote well-written passages. She opened the mobile study App Zybang to commence her search and was stunned by what she found. “I can’t believe what I saw,” said Wu. “Many of the compositions recommended were fan fictions with explicit descriptions.”
Zybang is not the only App found to involve taboo content. BaiCiZhan, an App which helps users memorize English words, is found to have the same problem.
“Some words are illustrated with explicit images,” says Yuan Yan, a senior high school student. “I recommended the App to my little brother who is still in primary school. I can’t imagine what would happen if he saw the pictures.”
Another problem with some learning Apps is unreasonable charging. Qian Wei, whose daughter is in 3rd Grade explains, “The App my daughter used is quite shameless. It’s free to download, however every time she used it to look for an answer, it would ask her to scan the QR code and pay a fee. I found out that a couple of times she used my phone in secret to pay the fee because her pocket money had run out.”
For teachers, one of the biggest problem around learning Apps is plagiarism. Wu Xiaoyu is a Junior School English teacher. According to her, at least two thirds of the students in her class are using learning Apps.
“The Apps are supposed to ‘help’ children solve a problem they can’t solve themselves,” says Wu. “Now certain students are using these Apps to finish homework swiftly, without any actual study,” she explains. “What makes it worse is that some answers provided by the Apps are wrong, so the App is not helping at all.” Wu sighs.
What’s your view on learning Apps? Do your children use them? Do you have any reliable App recommendations? Share with us by participating our latest Readers’ Picks!