Investigating the use of digital manipulatives for storytelling in pre-school

By Sylla, C.; Coutinho, C.; Branco, P.; M\"uller, W.

International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction

2015

Abstract

Research has identified a need for design of interactive products for children, as well as long-term studies that investigate the effects of its use in the classroom environment. Following the design and development of a digital manipulative system for storytelling, which involved preschool children and teachers, the investigation presented here reports findings from a four-month evaluation of the system that was carried in a Portuguese preschool involving 24 pairs of children. During the four months the researchers were able to observe children’s interaction with the digital manipulative system that was not biased by the novelty of the system or by time constrains. The gathered data showed that children used the digital manipulative system to create stories and play language games, which are activities that foster the development of oral language and emergent literacy, and are formally targeted in the preschool curriculum. The system provided challenge and adventure, motivating children to collaboratively explore and create narratives, empowering each child to actively participate in the task.

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