ERIC Number: ED243609
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Reference Count: 0
Competence, Gender and Preschooler's Free Play Choices When a Microcomputer Is Present in the Classroom.
Lipinski, Judith M; And Others
The proliferation of microcomputers in early childhood education has raised concerns about the computer's effects on the preschool curriculum. Of particular concern is the possibility that children will interact with the computer to the exclusion of other important activities. To examine this issue, a two-study project investigated children's activity choices in a 1-hour free-play period. Gender, competence, and free-play areas were the independent variables. The first study involved a class of 4-year-old children at a university-based nursery school; a class of 4-year-olds attending a university day care center participated in the second study. A microcomputer and age-appropriate software were placed in each classroom according to the following schedule of treatment weeks: baseline, computer-noninteractive (omitted in the second study), computer-interactive, and computer-interactive/teacher-interactive. The presence of the microcomputer intitially disrupted children's free-play choices. After several weeks, children's free-play patterns returned to baseline levels. In the first study, it was found that girls spent more time at the computer than did boys; however, no significant sex differences were found in the second study. In both, children judged to have high and medium levels of competence spent equal amounts of time at the computer. (Author/RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: North Carolina Univ., Greensboro. Family Research Center.
Identifiers: Choice Behavior
Note: Product of the Children and Technology Project (CAT).