iGrow: The Youthful Pioneers of the Tablet Generation

Not since Charlton Heston came down from the mountain with his infamous biblical two have tablets been so popular. But interestingly enough, a significant portion of that popularity is owed to a demographic that would not get that reference – kids.

Kids are as passionate about their tablet devices as any of their grown-up counterparts. According to mashable.com, the iPad topped most of last year’s Christmas lists penned by youngsters between 6 and 12, and for households owning such a device, 7 out of 10 children that age use one. So much so, says MDG Advertising, according to a study they conducted, that “children have become a targeted demographic among smart-device companies.” 10% of little ones utilize a tablet device before they leave the crib, and over half of kids are using one regularly by the age of 8.

While games and movies are an easy sell to a student-aged child, they also use tablet devices to discover the world of education, and according to statistics, it’s working. Within 45 days of their market inception, iPads sold 47,000 units to schools, and currently, 1.5 million are used by America’s students. The percentage of digital textbooks has doubled in the last year to 6%, and is estimated to grow to over 50% by the year 2020.

And now not only is the technology growing, but also actively improving education – according to the study, the students who use tablets as a learning tool outperform their counterparts who do not. The tablet, as a more engaging medium, seems to link learning and focus.

It gets better. Modern students have a hard enough time remaining focused in an austere classroom copying times tables from a blackboard. They live, nay, grew into a world where what we might call over-stimulation is the life they know. They are asked to leave behind their iPod touch, cell phone, tablet or, I shudder to think, archaic stone-aged media vehicles like television or personal computers, and focus in on one teacher using one method of learning in a classroom. The only possible solution is to move forward, and that lies, of course, in the very method of access they flock to for communication, entertainment, and general navigation of their world – the tablet. For parents or educators worried that their student might stray to the myriad other non-educational applications, Apple has developed a “guided access” feature for IOS 6, by which users are locked into their current application. One task. Problem solved. The tablet is an educator.

Beyond regular education, Apple hopes this function will help children needing special education, particularly students diagnosed with autism, to stay focused. As of July, 2012, there are over 900 app’s related to assisting or teaching autistic children.

In a world where market share is watered down by so many media vehicles, it would appear that tablets are particularly strong with younger users, in education and in life. From Angry Birds to atoms, the tablet seems to be the tool.

Details are ironed out in the Infographic,shown below.

 Kids and Tablet Research Infographic

Do you think tablets are the next focus in kid-related media? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.Kids Technology Tablet Infographic

 Touchstone Research and Mobile

Touchstone has been involved in various types of cutting edge Mobile Research studies since the mobile device boom.  We were one of the first Market Research companies to conduct Mall Intercept research with iPads (and wrote about it here and here) and one of the first youth market research companies passive tracking mobile/connected device research with kids and families where research panel households installed software that passively monitors activities on smartphones, tablets and computers (i.e. Websites visit, apps used, games played, video watched, etc.) to help assess how people are consuming content on different screens.  Mobile/Device data was integrated with quantitative, qualitative, and other panelist data and diary data to help provide a comprehensive understanding of people and new media behavior.

In addition to our leading edge Mobile Research study capabilities, Touchstone offers full Quantitative and Qualitative mobile research services including Mobile Research Panels & Communities as well custom mobile research application development.

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