ERIC Number: ED249932
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Structured Interviews on Children's Conceptions of Computers. Technical Report No. 19.
Mawby, Ronald; And Others
The terms and concepts children used to explain their beliefs about computers before and after classroom exposure to microcomputers were studied to identify misconceptions about computers that could interfere with computer-based learning. Children in each of two classrooms at the Bank Street School for Children were interviewed individually on their conceptions of computers at the beginning and end of their first year with computers in the classroom (fall 1981-summer 1982), which included work with the LOGO programming language. Their experience with computers inside and outside of school were also examined to provide a context for the following overall issues: (1) children's understanding of programming computers in LOGO; (2) their broader conceptions of computers beyond their function of programmable devices, such as cultural objects which have general properties and various functions; and (3) their interpretations of person/computer systems. By the end of the year, most of the children had some rudimentary skill with the computer; however, the progress of even the most advanced students could be hindered by their inadequate mental models of LOGO. The biggest problem seemed to be the lack of two concepts: a program as an algorithm applied to data, and the central processing unit as the functional core of the computer. Eight references are listed. (LMM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Bank Street Coll. of Education, New York, NY. Center for Children and Technology.