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Article of Volume 8, Issue 2, June 2013

Co-located single-display collaborative learning for early childhood education

Authors: Miguel Nussbaum, Florencia Gómez, Miguel Nussbaum, Juan F. Weitz, Ximena Lopez, Javiera Mena, Alex Torres

Abstract: The benefits of collaborative learning are well documented. However, most of the research has been done with children beyond the ages of early childhood. This could be due to the common and erroneous belief that young children have not developed the capacity to work collaboratively toward a given aim. In this paper we show how small group co-located collaborative learning on a single display computer improves oral language, logical-mathematical and social skills in pre-school children. Considering that early childhood teachers have a responsibility to provide a supportive environment, teacher mediation is essential in order to achieve collaborative learning. Thus, teachers were trained in the use of the technology and strategies for effective collaborative learning. The study was implemented in 10 kindergarten classrooms with 268 children between the ages of 5 and 6 years old. A group of 5 kindergarten classrooms with equivalent characteristics participated as a comparison group. During the four-month intervention, children worked on collaborative activities at least twice a week. A quasi-experimental approach was used to assess the implementation, including pre- and post-testing. The data showed differences in the learning of oral language, logical-mathematical and social skills, with the experimental group demonstrating significantly greater achievement.

Keywords: Small group Computer Supported Collaborative Learning, Co-located learning, Early childhood education, Single display collaborative learning

Citation: Nussbaum, M., Gómez, F., Weitz, J. F., Lopez, X., Mena, J., & Torres, A. (2013) Co-located single-display collaborative learning for early childhood education. ijcscl 8 (2), pp. 225-244

DOI: 10.1007/s11412-013-9168-1

Preprint: Acrobat-PDF nussbaum_gomez_lopez_mena_torres_8_2.pdf

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