ERIC Number: ED277458
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Reference Count: 0
Microcomputers and Young Children: An Exploratory Research Study.
Issues for Educators, v1 n1 Spr 1985
An exploratory study of what 5- and 6-year-old children can and will do when provided with certain kinds of computer experiences is described. The purpose of the study was to determine whether tutee programs can engage and sustain the learning energy of 5-year-olds. A total of 22 kindergarten children attended 8 or 12 90-minute sessions at a computer laboratory. The activity program was set up to provide, on a free-choice basis, computer activities via LOGO programming and other learning activities. Findings indicated that (1) computers can be used to help meet curriculum goals under certain circumstances; (2) computer activities, in which the command system is sufficiently simple and directly related to events on screen, offer the opportunity for children to experiment and learn on their own terms; and (3) nonreaders and young children with overriding interests in the three-dimensional world are not likely to use the computer as more than a novelty toy. Contributing to the development of a model for computer use by kindergarten children, seven conditions are listed that engage and sustain the learning energies of some children. It is concluded that microcomputers do not yet belong in early childhood classrooms serving 3- to 6-year-old children. The Afterword examines two additional points generated by the study: (1) The concept of 'designed boundaries' provides a useful model for planning and developing technology-related experiences. (2) Making critical decisions on the use of technology in the classroom requires a sound understanding of the knowledge base of education; hence for staff, knowledge of technology should follow knowledge of the teaching process. (RH)
Descriptors: Early Childhood Education, Educational Environment, Guidelines, Kindergarten Children, Microcomputers, Models, Student Interests, Student Participation
Dr. Monroe D. Cohen, Editor, School of Education, Queens College of the City University of New York, 65-30 Kissena Boulevard (PH 04), Flushing, NY 11367 ($2.00; make checks payable to Queens College).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: City Univ. of New York, Flushing, NY. Queens Coll. School of Education.
Note: Includes an Afterword, "Technology Use in School Settings: Second-Generation Probes," by Daniel James Broury.