ERIC Number: ED255320
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Apr
Reference Count: 0
A Study of the Behavior of Children in a Preschool Equipped with Computers.
Klinzing, Dene G.
A study was conducted: (1) to compare the popularity of computer stations with nine other activity stations; (2) to determine the differences in the type of play displayed by the children in preschool and note the type of play displayed at the computer stations versus the other activity stations; (3) to determine whether the preschool activities, particularly the computer activities, were teacher directed; (4) to describe the communication interactions; and (5) to determine whether children's choices of computer activities varied by sex. For 2 weeks, four observers gathered data in a classroom for 4-year-olds and a classroom for 5-year-olds. Both classrooms had housekeeping, art, language arts, blocks, cooking, science, and manipulative activities. The classroom for 4-year-olds had an Apple IIe computer, while the classroom for 5-year-olds had a PLATO terminal, a Turtle robot, and an Apple IIe computer. The children were free to choose among a number of software programs. Several measures were taken: (1) frequency counts of the number of children at each station; (2) identification of play behavior (using Parton's Play Classifications); (3) instances of teacher-directed play; (4) verbal interaction (using Flanders' Interaction Analysis Scale); and (5) frequency counts of the number of male and female children at computer stations. Results indicated that, while 4-year-old males used the computer extensively, other children seemed to engage in a wide variety of activities, including computer use. While activities generally were not teacher-directed, teachers did tend to direct the computer activities of the 4-year-olds and to use more praise in those activities. (These effects might have been due to the computer's relative novelty in that classroom.) The computers seemed to encourage both cooperative and independent play. (CB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Solitary Play
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (69th, Chicago, IL, March 31-April 4, 1985).