Teaching with Tech

Tablet computer optimized for children helps early learners go digital

Preparing children to use technology is important — but as teachers and parents know, handing a tablet to a 4-year-old can be a risky move. Early childhood teachers face innumerable challenges as they try to oversee technology usage, choose age-appropriate content and make sure students aren’t browsing the internet unsupervised.

Teachers also struggle to find affordable learning apps that cover a variety of subject areas, such as science, language arts and letter formation, at the pre-K level. Most don’t have time to choose a tablet, curate a collection of apps and make sure appropriate security features are present to keep students safe.

Introducing the Little Learner tablet by Kaplan and Samsung

Recognizing the need for an out-of-the-box solution, Kaplan Early Learning Company collaborated with Samsung to create the Little Learner, a tablet that comes pre-loaded with apps for preschool-age students.

Available in 8.7-inch and 10.4-inch sizes, the tablet includes 26 child-focused applications that have been vetted by experts and cover a wide swath of foundational skills including literacy, logic, mathematics, language development, creative arts, and social and emotional development. No subscriptions are required for the preloaded educational content, and the app collection is powered by Samsung Kids, creating a kid-safe environment and allowing teachers and administrators to monitor the student’s screen time and usage of various apps.

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The Little Learner utilizes Samsung Knox Configure to secure the online environment for students. Knox allows technology integrators to create a customized device image and replicate it across all the devices before shipping to end users — allowing IT to personalize the user interface, lock down certain functions and ensure that all tablets in the school have the exact same presentation.

Once tablets are deployed, admins can enter a passcode to switch them out of Kids Mode when needed to make customizations, add or delete apps or check usage statistics. In the hands of students, though, activated Kids Mode provides the security and peace of mind teachers and parents need.

Keeping kids engaged — and data secure

The Little Learner fills an important role for preschools, early childhood education centers and homeschools, allowing students to interact with technology in a way that’s age-appropriate and engaging.

“Teachers were not able to hand off tablets to kids, and now they can,” said Michelle Marshall, educational technology specialist at Kaplan. “We’ve tried to create a tablet that’s ready out-of-the-box, so they could give it to children with full trust that it’s secure.”

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Sheva Jones, director and owner of Step by Step Kinder-Kids Academy in Fayette, Mississippi, introduced Little Learner tablets at the school in fall 2022. “The tablet makes learning fun and motivates students,” Jones said. “Parents are always raving to us about the things their children have learned.”

Jones and her staff customized the tablets based on the needs of their classes. “The process of choosing apps was a breeze, and we appreciated that there’s a variety of preloaded apps covering math, science, language, building, cooking and reading,” she said. “We picked apps that enhance what we were already teaching the students in class.”

Ultimately, the Little Learner tablet supports teachers and provides a fun and important introduction to education technology for the youngest of today’s students. “Our partnership is about making an impact on children at the start of their educational journey, and we’re excited to deliver on that promise,” said Angela Friar, head of the Education Sales Vertical at Samsung Electronics America. “Leveraging our Galaxy tablets with Kaplan’s applications will support parents and teachers to engage their youngest students in a fun and exciting way. We think kids will love learning while having fun.”

Explore Samsung’s education technology solutions that deliver engaging hybrid learning experiences in the classroom and beyond. To preview the Little Learner’s educational applications and watch videos of the content in use, visit Kaplan.

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Jessica Leigh Brown

Jessica Leigh Brown is a freelance writer and former high school English teacher who covers the intersection of technology and education. Over the past decade, her work has appeared in EdSurge Higher Ed, Education Dive, EdTech Magazine, University Business, and District Administration.

View more posts by Jessica Leigh Brown