In this July 12, 2018, photo, children work on a digital program at Coby Preschool in Yoshikawa, suburban Tokyo, on an assignment, which was to draw on a triangle on an iPad. For the kids, it’s all about having fun. (AP Photo/Yuri Kageyama)
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It's drawing time at this suburban nursery school in Japan, but instead of crayons, tiny fingers are tapping on colors on iPad screens and taking selfies. Digital schooling has arrived in this nation long known for its zealous commitment to "three R's" education. Coby Preschool, in a small town northeast of Tokyo, is among nearly 400 kindergartens and nursery schools in Japan that are using smartphone software applications designed especially for preschoolers called KitS.That's only about 1 percent of this nation's kindergartens and nursery schools. The government has recently made strengthening technology education national policy even as it struggles to meet its goal of supplying one digital device computer or tablet for every three children.In the United States, 98 percent of children aged 8 and under have a mobile device in their homes, while 43 percent have their own tablet, according to The Genius of Play, a U.S. program that researches education and play.However, early research into how tablets and apps affect learning for kids ages 2 to 5 is inconclusive.Youngsters, even some preschoolers, attend extracurricular cram schools.
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