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Struggling to Learn or Learning to Struggle: Children's use of iPad apps as constraints or scaffolds for social interaction in Swedish preschool
Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS).
Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9722-2763
Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Centrum för lärande, kultur och samhälle (CLKS), Lärande, Profession och Samhällsutveckling.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1147-5736
2016 (English)In: 26th EECERA Annual Conference 2016: “Happiness, Relationships, Emotion & Deep Level Learning”: Abstract Book, 2016, 76-76 p.Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We aimed to investigate how young children's interactions with computer tablets (iPads) in preschool may constrain or scaffold collaborative and individualistic behaviour. Drawing from a contextual perspective on play (Edwards, 2013), our study combined perspectives on joint participation (Lave & Wenger, 1991, Wenger, 1998) and content analysis of apps based on learning science (Hirsh-Pasek et al., 2015) in order to analyse how certain app characteristics (e.g. 'playful' vs 'learning' apps, apps supporting 'social interaction' vs 'minds-on activity') related to children's peer interactions. In our view, apps differ from other tools and toys primarily by providing 'pre-packaged activities', such as mathematical tasks, puzzle-solving or rule-based games, which constrain and direct meaningful actions through interactive functions and feedback. Two Swedish preschools (35 children, 3- 5 years old) participated. We openly filmed children's tablet use during free play sessions, totalling 19h of film. Ethical standards were assured through written informed consent by parents and personnel, and oral consent from participating children. Preliminary results indicate that children's activities were constrained and influenced not only by the use of tablets generally, but specifically by different types of apps. For example, apps with 'creative' learning goals, such as Gangnam Style, afforded collaboration, whereas more performance- oriented apps such as Hungry Fish afforded individualistic play and struggles for ownership of the tablet. Our results have important implications for how 'play time' with tablets is assigned in preschool and call for greater attention to varieties in app content for how children engage in social and cognitive activities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. 76-76 p.
Keyword [en]
Collaboration, Ownership, Learning, Play, Computer tablets
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-34075OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-34075DiVA: diva2:1108098
Conference
26th EECERA Annual Conference 2016: “Happiness, Relationships, Emotion & Deep Level Learning”, 31st August – 3rd September 2016, Dublin, Ireland
Available from: 2017-06-12 Created: 2017-06-12 Last updated: 2017-06-26Bibliographically approved

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Sjödén, BjörnLagergren, AnniqaSjöberg, Jeanette
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Citation style
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