ERIC Number: ED249923
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-May
Reference Count: N/A
The Microcomputer as a Medium for Young Children. Technical Report No. 26.
Educators are asking about the appropriate role of computers in the classroom, whether computers have a legitimate place in a classroom for young children or will supplant more important activities, and whether children under the age of 8 should use microcomputers. These general questions must be examined in order to discover the real, underlying issues and how they can be addressed. One concern is that this new technology is not "real," but that the microcomputer is a symbolic machine that is used to represent and manipulate symbol systems. The symbolic nature of the microcomputer per se, however, does not make it incompatible with or inappropriate for use by young children. A critical issue is how the child engages with a particular system via the microcomputer. Microcomputers can be used to provide cognitive support; as a means for reflecting on other activities and better understanding activities in other media; and to help children take a broader view of the computer as an important piece of technology. The concern that the technology will take over, and that teacher behavior or beliefs will not matter, is contradicted by existing research. Answering questions about microcomputer use by young children calls for a complex and cooperative enterprise among teachers, researchers, and developers. Twenty-four references are listed. (LMM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Policymakers
Authoring Institution: Bank Street Coll. of Education, New York, NY. Center for Children and Technology.