ERIC Number: ED288621
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Is There a Role for Computers in Early Childhood Programs: A Naturalistic Study.
Byrd, David; And Others
A naturalistic study of the use of computers in a preschool program suggested that a role for the computer in early childhood education exists, but it may not be the role that critics and advocates have envisioned. Phase 1 of the study investigated young children's interactions with computer software, peers working at computers, and teachers. Subjects were six preschool children whose interactions were videotaped during five 1-hour sessions during which they chose software and duration of computer involvement. Findings indicated that children differed in types of software they enjoyed, ways they interacted with the computer, amount of teacher help they required, and discussions with peers. Enjoyment and teacher support were key factors in children's continued computer use. When, in Phase 2, a computer learning center was introduced into a preschool classroom containing 25 children and 7 other indoor activity centers, videotaped observations of children's use of a drawing pad program indicated that the computer center can provide another rich environment for preschool programs, and may be especially valuable for some children. The preschool computer activity center may function best as a social center, a place for choice, for curiosity, for trying things out, and for fostering a problem solving attitude. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Teacher Educators (Houston, TX, February 14-18, 1987).