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Improving preschoolers’ mathematics achievement with tablets: a randomized controlled trial

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Abstract

With a randomized field experiment of 433 preschoolers, we tested a tablet mathematics program designed to increase young children’s mathematics learning. Intervention students played Math Shelf, a comprehensive iPad preschool and year 1 mathematics app, while comparison children received research-based hands-on mathematics instruction delivered by their classroom teachers. After 22 weeks, there was a large and statistically significant effect on mathematics achievement for Math Shelf students (Cohen’s d = .94). Moderator analyses demonstrated an even larger effect for low achieving children (Cohen’s d = 1.27). These results suggest that early education teachers can improve their students’ mathematics outcomes by integrating experimentally proven tablet software into their daily routines.

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... Thirteen studies used a range of active control groups in an experimental design (RCTs and QEDs). Five studies compared the maths app interventions to non-digital maths interventions (Grimes et al., 2020;Mattoon et al., 2015;Miller, 2018;Schacter & Jo, 2017;Zander et al., 2016). Importantly, unlike in the business-as-usual control groups, the different mathematical activities, and thus the potential mechanisms for learning, were differentiated. ...
... When comparing the maths app intervention to one-to-one and small peer group instruction, results showed immediate, near-transfer benefits for mathematical performance (Grimes et al., 2020;Schacter & Jo, 2017). However, the maths app intervention effects did not transfer to mathematical language skills (Grimes et al., 2020). ...
... A highly effective intervention was defined as a within-subject effect size (Cohen's d) greater than 1 (Hedge's g corrections applied to studies with sample sizes equal to or less than 50). In cases where math apps were evaluated in multiple studies (onebillion Maths 3-5 and Maths 4-6; Math Shelf), the most robust study (e.g., an RCT with the largest sample size) that had sufficiently reported data to calculate the within-subject effect size was used as an indication of children's learning outcomes (Outhwaite et al., 2018;Schacter & Jo, 2017). ...
Article
Educational maths applications (apps) are an emerging trend in children’s learning environments aiming to raise their mathematical attainment. However, with over 200,000 educational apps available within the App Store (Apple, 2014), deciding which apps to use poses a significant challenge to teachers, parents, and policy makers. The current study aimed to advance our understandings of whether and how educational maths apps can support children’s learning, as well as outline gaps in current research evidence and practice. In doing so, the current study included: / • A systematic review (Part 1) to synthesise the current evidence on educational maths apps for young children in the first three years of compulsory school (e.g., ages 4-7 years in England; ages 5-8 years in the USA). / • A content analysis (Part 2) to examine the content and design features of different educational maths apps and how they may support children’s learning.
... Important changes in mathematics education in prekindergarten through first grade are strong predictors of future academic and economic success (Lee 2010;Ryoo et al. 2014;Schacter and Jo 2017). Prior studies examining the longitudinal relations between number sense skills (e.g., counting, number knowledge, and number transformation) and later mathematics learning have shown promising results about the effect of these skills on elementary and middle school mathematics achievement (Aubrey and Dahl 2014;Aunio and Niemivirta 2010;İvrendi 2016;Jordan et al. 2009). ...
... For over three decades, digital technologies have been part of mathematics educators' repertoire of tools, knowledge, and processes used to enhance engagement and understanding in learning and teaching (Calder 2015). Research that focuses on best practice in the incorporation of technology in Early Childhood Education (ECE) has shown the use of the Information and Communication technologies (ICT) can result in improvements to student engagement, motivation, persistence, curiosity and attention (Clements 2002;Larkin 2013;Lieberman et al. 2009;Moore-Russo et al. 2015;Orlando and Attard 2016;Schacter and Jo 2017;Shamir et al. 2017b;Weiss et al. 2006) even with preschoolers with concurrent risk for mathematics difficulties (Bryant et al. 2008). ...
... The importance of mathematics education in the early years has gained increasing attention worldwide (Moomaw 2015) as evidence shows that important changes in mathematics education in prekindergarten through first grade is a strong predictor of future academic and economic success (Lee 2010;Mononen and Aunio 2013;Munn 2006;Ryoo et al. 2014;Schacter and Jo 2017;Susperreguy and Davis-Kean 2016). Early mathematics difficulties lead to long-term educational problems (Dyson et al. 2015). ...
Article
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The present study aimed to assess the effect of two different types of digital technologies (computers and tablets) in early childhood students’ understanding of numbers. Three hundred and sixty-five children (mean age in months, M = 62.0, SD = 5.5) from 21 kindergarten classes were randomly assigned to two intervention groups and a business-as-usual control group. The interventions were conducted over 24 half-hour lessons. Data was collected during the 2013–2014 school year using a three-step research procedure. Students’ knowledge about numbers was assessed using the Test of Early Mathematics Ability-3 (TEMA-3). Findings were that (a) both experimental groups significantly outperformed the control group on the posttest, (b) the group that used tablet computers significantly outperformed the group that used personal computers on the posttest, and (c) there was no significant difference between genders on the posttest. Our findings support that computers and especially tablets, when combined with the use of developmentally appropriate software into the children’s daily routines, may provide a substantial contribution to early childhood students’ comprehension of numbers.
... This review may be of greatest relevance in assessing the impact of currently available technology, such as tablet interventions, although due to the date of publication, a number of more recently published studies from April 2016 onwards are not included (e.g. Outhwaite et al., 2017, Schacter & Jo, 2017, as discussed further below. ...
... Pitchford, 2015). This may be a particularly relevant consideration in interpreting studies conducted by and Schacter and Jo (2017), as the comparison group used other mathsbased tablet apps. ...
... First, it is uncertain whether the gains made by the intervention group in mathematics CK were due to the additional time spent on maths-based activity, rather than the onebillion intervention per se. Previous research has included comparison groups, who received adult-led tuition in topics similar to those on the onebillion app (Outhwaite et al., in press) or even other maths tablet apps (Schacter et al., , 2017. Inclusion of a comparison group in the current study was not feasible due to class staffing levels/sample size, but would have been valuable in determining the relative impact of the onebillion intervention compared to adult-led instruction or other interventions. ...
Article
Hand-held technology is increasingly being used in educational settings as a medium of instruction for young children (Hubber et al., 2016). Although the evidence base is developing, little is currently known about the effectiveness of mathematics interventions delivered through tablet technology, particularly for preschool children in the UK. The present research evaluates the impact of the onebillion tablet-based intervention on the mathematics attainment, receptive language and positive ‘approaches to learning’ of 3-4 year old children. An embedded mixed methods design was used in this study. The primary aims of the research were addressed through a quasi-experimental, ability-matched design. Across two nurseries, forty-seven children were allocated to either an experimental group, who accessed the intervention for fifteen minutes per day over 9 weeks (n = 23), or a control group (n = 24). Additional nested data was collected, including qualitative semi-structured facilitator interviews and observations, to further illuminate factors affecting outcomes. At post-test, the experimental group had significantly higher mathematics attainment than the control group (controlling for pre-test ability), assessed on a researcher-developed measure of curriculum knowledge. At 5 month follow-up, the experimental group still appeared to outperform children in the control group, but differences between groups were no longer statistically significant. There was no significant intervention effect on a standardised measure of mathematics, or other aspects of development, including children’s receptive language or ‘approaches to learning’. Based upon analysis of embedded data, a model is proposed of the potential mechanisms underpinning the efficacy of the intervention, accounting for individual differences and implementation factors on outcomes. Findings from this study are discussed in relation to relevant literature and theory. Methodological limitations of the study are also acknowledged, as well as the implications of these findings for the use of educational technology in the early years, the practice of educational psychologists and further research.
... First, there is a need to understand how educational apps are best implemented in a classroom setting. Typically, researchers have implemented app-based interventions (e.g., Schacter & Jo, 2017) as a supplementary teaching aid, in addition to standard math practice (e.g., Berkowitz et al., 2015). This entails greater instructional time on learning mathematics compared with the comparison groups, rendering it difficult to disentangle the effects of the intervention from the effects of extra time learning math (Foster, Anthony, Clements, Sarama, & Williams, 2016;Ginsburg & Smith, 2016). ...
... Second, there is a need to examine which components of math development are supported by educational apps. Previous research evaluating app interventions has frequently used assessments closely aligned with the intervention content, which typically focuses on specific aspects of math knowledge (e.g., Schacter & Jo, 2017). Studies are required to take a broader view of mathematics and consider how educational apps support the acquisition of targeted components of math knowledge and whether this generalizes to higher-level skills. ...
Article
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Improving provision and raising achievement in early math for young children is of national importance. Child-centered apps offer an opportunity to develop strong foundations in learning math as they deliver one-to-one instruction. Reported here is the first pupil-level randomized control trial in the United Kingdom of interactive math apps designed for early years education, with 389 children aged 4–5 years. The original and rigorous research design disentangled the impact of the math apps as a form of quality math instruction from additional exposure to math. It was predicted that using the apps would increase math achievement when implemented by teachers in addition to standard math activities (treatment) or instead of a regular small group-based math activity (time-equivalent treatment) compared with standard math practice only (control). After a 12-week intervention period, results showed significantly greater math learning gains for both forms of app implementation compared with standard math practice. The math apps supported targeted basic facts and concepts and generalized to higher-level math reasoning and problem solving skills. There were no significant differences between the 2 forms of math app implementation, suggesting the math apps can be implemented in a well-balanced curriculum. Features of the interactive apps, which are grounded in instructional psychology and combine aspects of direct instruction with play, may account for the observed learning gains. These novel results suggest that structured, content-rich, interactive apps can provide a vehicle for efficiently delivering high-quality math instruction for all pupils in a classroom context and can effectively raise achievement in early math.
... While this study's central aim is to understand preservice teachers' TPACK-Math evolution, it is worth to recognize that the mathematics knowledge that children in kindergarten possess at school entry serves as a strong predictor of their future academic and economic success [28,29,30,31]. This is because children who enter school with strong mathematics skills have a greater likelihood of success in mathematics in kindergarten and in later grades. ...
... There is research evidence suggesting that effective integration of technology in Early Childhood Education (ECE) positively impacts learners' motivation, curiosity, engagement and attention [30,32,33]. These positive impacts have also been prevalent in preschool learners who exhibit difficulties in mathematics [34]. ...
... Researchers, focusing on early childhood education, point out that the utilisation of new mobile devices in the subject matter of Mathematics provides new potentials for young children to be actively and effectively involved with mathematical concepts (Schacter and Jo, 2017;Papadakis et al., 2016aPapadakis et al., , 2018bOuthwaite et al., 2019). New interactive technologies used with child-friendly ways enhance the conceptual and procedural mathematical knowledge. ...
... Papadakis et al. (2016aPapadakis et al. ( , 2018aPapadakis et al. ( , 2018b Tablet-based teaching is more effective than computerbased teaching in the development of children's mathematical ability. Schacter and Jo (2017) The mathematical thinking of early-year students can be enhanced through the appropriate use of a tablet software. Clements and Sarama (2013) Learning trajectories promote learning skills and concepts for early Mathematics education. ...
Article
The adoption of digital technologies in early childhood settings attracts the attention of an increasing number of researchers and scholars throughout the globe. Despite the proliferation of investigations focusing on learning through digital technologies in preschool and early-primary education, there are fields of knowledge in which the impact of digital technologies has yet to be explored. A typical example is that of Nano-Science and nano-Technology (NST). NST is a new interdisciplinary field with products and applications (apps) that utilize the cutting-edge technology and is increasingly penetrating into today's everyday life, promising to solve global challenges. The objectives of this paper are to (a) examine, based on relevant literature, whether digital technologies could enhance the teaching of concepts related to NST in early childhood settings (b) present the perspectives of mobile devices and their educational apps in young childrens learning procedure. The study concludes with a theoretical analysis of the research findings and a brief proposal for future research.
... Researchers, focusing on early childhood education, point out that the utilisation of new mobile devices in the subject matter of Mathematics provides new potentials for young children to be actively and effectively involved with mathematical concepts (Schacter and Jo, 2017;Papadakis et al., 2016aPapadakis et al., , 2018bOuthwaite et al., 2019). New interactive technologies used with child-friendly ways enhance the conceptual and procedural mathematical knowledge. ...
... Papadakis et al. (2016aPapadakis et al. ( , 2018aPapadakis et al. ( , 2018b Tablet-based teaching is more effective than computerbased teaching in the development of children's mathematical ability. Schacter and Jo (2017) The mathematical thinking of early-year students can be enhanced through the appropriate use of a tablet software. Clements and Sarama (2013) Learning trajectories promote learning skills and concepts for early Mathematics education. ...
New interactive technologies in terms of smart mobile devices and accompanied applications (apps) attract an increasing attention in the field of preschool and early-primary education. This has risen a great amount of academic literature, and numerous implementation initiatives. Despite this widespread interest, successful integration of interactive technologies in preschool and early-primary education still faces unresolved issues and challenges. This paper refers mostly to smart mobile devices and their accompanied mobile applications (apps) at the device/platform level. Robotics, Mathematics, STEM and Literacy are discussed below, since these are the fields found to provide most opportunities in early childhood, especially promising to cultivate interests early in computing. The ultimate objective is to present a greater comprehension of the influence of new technologies on young children's learning procedure and its potential for early childhood education. The study ends up with a general analysis of the research findings and a short proposal for the extension of the understudy subject as well.
... There are a number of studies comparing the impact or effectiveness of manual and digital didactic materials on teaching mathematics, but their results have not shown us conclusive conclusions. Digital materials have proven to be more effective in some studies (Schacter & Jo, 2017;Volk, et al., 2017); in other studies there was no difference in the learning outcomes of pupils using manual aids and digital materials (Moyer-Packenham, et al., 2013;Singer, 2015). For both materials we can identify different mathematical-didactic advantages (Walter, 2018). ...
... There are substantial benefits to be gained from a traditional game tool. However, this game tool has been declined these days due to an increasing number of digital game (Schacter & Jo, 2017) tools which is not accordingly with a rural area. Moreover, the traditional game tool could be gained through utilizing some kinds of stuff in around either a school or home (Suryadi, 2007) such as modified bottle cap. ...
Article
Full-text available
The preliminary study showed that the main problem, however, faced by kindergarten students are lack of mathematics skill, such arithmetic ability in kindergarten Galis. Therefore, the present study aims to investigate the effectiveness of a modified bottle cap as an educational game tool towards enhancement of arithmetic ability. Samples were prepared for the quasi-experiment research design involving 60 children, aged 4-5 years. A detailed comparison is made between the experimental condition, consisted of 30 students, received the educational game tool activities and the control condition which consisted of 30 students, received the instructional activities as usual. Before and after two weeks of the intervention with the game tool of a modified bottle cap, measures of arithmetic ability were administered to either experiment or control class. The results of the study indicated that in the experiment class, children’s arithmetic ability increased significantly compared to children in the control class. The differences may have been due to the intervention. To conclude, the modified bottle cap as an educational game tool effective to improve children’s mathematics skill, especially for arithmetic ability. However, the findings required the extended study on other research methods and the bigger size of the samples. Keywords: Early Childhood, Modified bottle cap, Early Arithmetic Ability. References: Aqib, Zainal. (2010). Belajar dan Pembelajaran di Taman Kanak-Kanak. Bandung: Yrama Widya. Arsyad, A. (2017). Media Pembelajaran. PT Raja Grafindo Pursada. Aunio, Pirjo; Tapola, Anna; Mononen; and Niemivirta, M. (2016). Early Mathematics Skill Development, Low Performance, and Parental Support in the Finnish Context. In Blevins-Knabe; A.M.B. Austin (Ed.), Early Childhood Mathematic Skill Development in the home environment. 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... Tablet devices are mobile, lightweight and do not rely on the motor skills needed to use other technologies, such as a computer keyboard and mouse (Kucirkova, 2014). ey can also store a wide range of child-friendly educational apps, some of which have been shown to support young children's mathematical development in early education (Schacter and Jo, 2017;Park et al., 2016; Szkudlarek and Brannon, 2018). For example, increased time learning mathematics with an educational story app at home improved children's mathematical skills in primary school (Berkowitz et al., 2015 ...
... Few studies have been explicitly focused on examining the impact of touch screens, including tablets, iPads, and smartphones, on young children (Crescenzi, Jewitt, & Price, 2014;Lieberman, Bates, & So, 2009;Neumann & Neumann, 2014;Outhwaite et al., 2018;Schacter & Jo, 2017;Starcic & Bagon, 2014). The claim of many of these digital interventions is that they support individualized learning or the self-pacing among children and that the use of multiple modalities can help children learn (see Alad� e et al., 2016;Bosse, Jacobs, & Anderson, 2009;Gelman, Brenneman, Macdonald, & Roman, 2009;Pitchford, Kamchedzera, Hubber, & Chigeda, 2018 where they compared interactive condition, non interactive condition (where children watched a video), and a control condition. ...
Article
Understanding digital supports for early learning is paramount for school readiness and later mathematics learning. We present results from a randomized control trial evaluating a digital app (Measure Up!) and a parent companion app (Super Vision) designed to teach children measurement concepts, a skill that many teachers do not feel comfortable teaching. Ninety-nine 4- and 5-year-old children were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: Measure Up!, Super Vision + Measure Up!, or a control game. Analyses revealed a statistically significant effect of being in the treatment group (Measure Up! or Measure Up! + Super Vision) on children's posttest scores (about two additional questions correct), controlling for the pretest and demographic characteristics (gender, SES). In particular, gains were made for children's understanding of pan balances. There was no significant difference between the two treatment groups. Results suggest that apps can be designed to help children learn important mathematics skills; however, more research needs to be done to understand how parent supports can be better designed. Implications for evaluation and design of game-based learning tools are discussed.
... H αξιοποίηση των νέων διαδραστικών τεχνολογιών στη μαθηματική εκπαίδευση προσφέρει νέες ευκαιρίες και στα παιδιά πρώιμης παιδικής ηλικίας για την ενεργητική εμπλοκή τους, την καλλιέργεια της συνεργατικότητάς τους και γενικότερα την αποτελεσματική ενασχόλησή τους με μαθηματικές έννοιες και διαδικασίες (Schacter & Jo, 2017;Papadakis et al., 2016a). Οι νέες διαδραστικές τεχνολογίες, όταν χρησιμοποιούνται με τους κατάλληλους για την ανάπτυξη των παιδιών τρόπους, ενισχύουν την εννοιολογική και διαδικαστική τους γνώση για τα μαθηματικά (Clements & Sarama, 2013). ...
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Η παρούσα εργασία συνθέτει μια βιβλιογραφική ανασκόπηση σχετικά με την εισαγωγή των νέων διαδραστικών τεχνολογιών στην προσχολική και πρωτοσχολική εκπαίδευση. Ειδικότερα, εξετάζονται τα γνωστικά αντικείμενα στα οποία έχει επιχειρηθεί η εισαγωγή των νέων διαδραστικών τεχνολογιών στην εκπαίδευση για την αποτελεσματικότερη εκμάθησή τους από τα μικρά παιδιά. Οι εκπαιδευτικές ψηφιακές δραστηριότητες που μέχρι τώρα έχουν αναπτυχθεί για τα παιδιά προσχολικής ηλικίας εστιάζουν στην ανάπτυξη των ικανοτήτων αναφορικά με τις διεπιστημονικές έννοιες των Φυσικών Επιστημών, της Τεχνολογίας, της Μηχανικής και των Μαθηματικών (STEM), καθώς και τον Γραμματισμό. Παρόλο που η ανασκόπηση της βιβλιογραφίας είναι συντριπτικά θετική σχετικά με την αποτελεσματικότητα των νέων διαδραστικών τεχνολογιών στην εκμάθηση των εν λόγω γνωστικών αντικειμένων, εμφανής είναι η ανάγκη για περαιτέρω διερεύνηση της επίδρασης των νέων τεχνολογιών στην εκπαίδευση των μικρών παιδιών.
... Applying information technology (IT) for teaching and learning and improving the education system is of recent importance, which is becoming more evident due to increased amounts of research on the topic. IT created a new trend in education (Schacter & Jo, 2017). The use of social network and collaborative learning (Barnes et al., 2007), online learning (Takawale & Kulkarni, 2016), smart classroom (Taleb & Hassanzadeh, 2015), and Flipped Classroom (FC; Smallhorn, 2017) proved that changes are taking place via the introduction of IT in education. ...
Article
Smart classroom is a technology-based learning that is proposed as a solution to increase the capabilities of students. This mode of teaching and learning make the education system more attractive and interactive, in addition to help educators to develop an engaging session. The objective of this study is to determine the effect of smart classrooms among Mathematics undergraduates. The study involved 72 students, and the data were analyzed using t test. The results show a significant difference among the students’ academic performance in the conventional and smart classroom. In addition, the use of smart classroom has greatly improved students’ performance.
... In brief, the use of tablet technologies has positive impact on emerging literacy and numeracy skills, problem solving, creativity and overall mathematics achievement. Of importance to our ERA approach to using tablets, research indicates that young children could transfer what they learned on a device to a similar scenario using non-digital objects (Schacter & Jo, 2017). These positive effects may be due to the fact that tablets present very few technical challenges (e.g. the fine motor control required to use a mouse or keyboard) and thus engagement with tablets is higher. ...
Conference Paper
In this paper we critique existing research on the role and nature of digital technology use in Preschools. The majority of the literature points to overwhelmingly positive outcomes for young children when digital technology is thoughtfully used in play based learning contexts. However, despite the wealth of evidence that the use of tablets can be beneficial to preschool students, early childhood teachers often report being uncomfortable in teaching STEM. We suggest that, if accompanied by suitable professional development, tablets are an important addition to early childhood contexts.
... A recent study by (Bower et al., in press) suggests that 3-year-old children profit from the use of digital puzzles to the same degree as concrete materials in a spatial training intervention. Early mathematics education has also found benefits in the use of tablets (Schacter & Jo, 2017). Thus, more work is needed in early spatial education to examine the potential benefits of digital interfaces versus traditional, tangible materials. ...
Article
Children's early spatial thinking abilities are predictive of their later STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) achievement. While research has primarily focused on spatial skills in the home environment, spatial learning can also occur in schools and in informal learning settings in the real world. Despite calls for implementation as in the Common Core standards-spatial skills instruction is absent from most early education classrooms. The current article identifies key practices that can be implemented by preschool educators to help foster spatial learning. Adopting Chatter-jee's (2008) Framework of Spatial Thought and Language, which offers a typology for different aspects of spatial thinking, we argue that spatial skills should be taught early, using examples from the classroom to illustrate how research can be brought to life. We suggest ways to apply simple practices that preschool educators can use to improve children's spatial skills, as well as describe installations designed to foster spatial thinking that can be implemented in some form in preschools. What is the significance of this article for the general public? This article addresses the absence of spatial skills instruction and playful learning opportunities in preschools by presenting the latest research and providing evidence based examples of how preschools can integrate spatial language and gestures into everyday activities, as well as provide spatial classroom activities. Since spatial thinking develops early and predicts later success in STEM domains, it is imperative to bring spatial learning experiences into preschool classrooms.
... Positive effects of different interventions and training programs on young children's number-specific abilities have been observed (e.g. Clements & Sarama, 2007;Dunbar, Ridha, Cankaya, Jiménez Lira, & LeFevre, 2016;Dyson, Jordan, & Glutting, 2011;Honoré & Noël, 2016;Lewis Presser, Clements, Ginsburg, & Ertle, 2015;Maertens, De Smedt, Sasanguie, Elen, & Reynvoet, 2016;Praet & Desoete, 2014a;Ramani & Siegler, 2011;Räsänen, Salminen, Wilson, Aunio, & Dehaene, 2009;Schacter & Jo, 2017;Sella, Tressoldi, Lucangeli, & Zorzi, 2016;Starkey, Klein, & Wakeley, 2004;Toll & Van Luit, 2014; C. Xu & LeFevre, 2016). These results are particularly encouraging in the light of the fundamental role of basic number-specific skills, illustrating that these skills and important precursors of mathematical knowledge can be fostered with adequate interventions. ...
Thesis
Early mathematical abilities, developed prior the onset of formal instruction, have been identified as a strong predictor of later mathematical achievement and numeracy, which goes along, in turn, with a variety of different life outcomes. Hence, unravelling the cognitive abilities associated with successful mathematical development is an important effort in the field of numerical cognition and developmental psychology. Abilities that are identified as predictors of mathematical development are potentially vital key targets of early interventions. By fostering these key abilities, children’s mathematical development should be positively influenced. The present thesis pursues two major aims. The first aim is to identify key predictors of mathematical development. More precisely, the present thesis studies whether spatial skills fall within the category of key predictors in young children. Findings illustrate that different aspects of spatial skills emerge as strong predictors of mathematics (study I). Findings further highlight, that spatial skills hold a pivotal role for mathematical skills with a prominent verbal component (study II). The second aim is concerned with the elaboration and scientific investigation of the effects of early interventions. A distinguishing feature of the present thesis is, that it is set in the Luxembourgish school setting. The latter is characterized by its heterogeneous student population from diverse language backgrounds. According to current statistics, around two-third of the children who attend Luxembourgish fundamental school do not speak Luxembourgish as a first language at home. Hence, an important number of children are not fluent in the language of instruction in preschool. Therefore, a central concern was to develop and implement early interventions that face the challenges posed by a multilingual school setting. For this reason, the language-neutral early mathematics training tool “MaGrid” was developed. MaGrid sets out to overcome the language-barrier in early mathematics education. On the content side, it encompasses a vast amount of number-specific and spatial training tasks. In the context of the present thesis two intervention studies (study III and study IV), including this tool, were run and yielded promising results. Results of these studies further add to unravelling the relation between spatial skills and mathematics and answering the question, whether the (early) road to mathematics is spatial indeed.
... Tablet devices are mobile, lightweight and do not rely on the motor skills needed to use other technologies, such as a computer keyboard and mouse (Kucirkova, 2014). ey can also store a wide range of child-friendly educational apps, some of which have been shown to support young children's mathematical development in early education (Schacter and Jo, 2017;Park et al., 2016; Szkudlarek and Brannon, 2018). For example, increased time learning mathematics with an educational story app at home improved children's mathematical skills in primary school (Berkowitz et al., 2015 ...
Article
Full-text available
Touch-screen tablets and educational apps are gaining popularity in classrooms worldwide, with increasing investment by schools and governments (Tamim et al., 2015). In the UK, over 70% of classrooms have access to tablet technology (Clarke, 2014). Tablet devices are suited to primary education because they can store a wide range of child-friendly educational apps. Touch-screen tablets are also mobile, light-weight and do not rely on the motor skills needed to use other technologies, such as a computer keyboard and mouse (Kucirkova, 2014). But what is the research evidence supporting the use of this technology as a supplementary tool in primary education? We focus on educational maths apps designed for early years – an area we have been investigating for the past five years.
... Det innebär att kommersiella faktorer får stor betydelse för hur appar utvecklas och designas och i förlängningen för vilket lärande som blir möjligt. Det finns även en ansenlig mängd studier som rör barns matematiska utveckling och flera av dessa visar att väldesignade appar kan ha en viss positiv effekt på förskolebarns matematiska utveckling (Holgersson et al., 2016;Kosko & Ferdig, 2016;Palmér, 2015;Schacter & Jo, 2017;Sedaghatjou & Campbell, 2017). Dessa studier har visat att de flesta matematikappar endast fokuserar på enkel matematisk memorering och engagerar därför inte barnen nämnvärt. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
This doctoral thesis aims to examine how preschool children and teachers interact with tablets and apps, and contribute to a critical discussion about the role of digital technologies in preschool. The thesis consists of four empirical studies based on video observations of 42 children and six teachers, fieldnotes and interviews. Interaction Analysis is used in the analysis of the video observations, which allows for examination of both verbal and non-verbal communication between participants and technologies. A sociocultural approach is employed as an overarching theoretical framework for the analysis. The findings show that tablets and apps are used in different ways, and for different purposes, depending on the distribution of children’s agency in the activities. In the preschool activities studied, children and teachers show different motivations for using the technologies, thereby taking diverging perspectives on the activities, which leads to difficulties in establishing intersubjectivity. The role of the teacher is discussed as being pivotal for scaffolding and guided interaction in these activities. The findings also show that teachers use apps as substitutes for non-digital artefacts and as incentive for children to participate in educational activities. The findings contribute to a critical discussion about what happens when tablets and apps are used in activities in preschool, based on empirical research, rather than on what could or should happen. Therefore, the thesis adds new knowledge of relevance to a wide range of readers, including scholars, policymakers and teachers.
... Further, Marsh (2004) found that television, film, computer games, and mobile are used as tools to improve learning of children with disabilities. Furthermore, digital technologies such as tablets are used by children with disabilities to enhance their learning (Papadakis et al., 2018;Schacter, Jo, 2017). ...
... This problem is especially acute in early childhood settings. Early childhood teachers often do not feel comfortable or prepared to teach science (Greenfield, Alexander, & Frechette, 2017;Greenfield et al., 2009) or mathematics (MacDonald, Davies, Dockett, & Perry, 2012;Schacter & Jo, 2017). For example, preschool teachers are found to use relatively little mathematics language in their classrooms and to introduce few structured mathematics activities (Rudd, Lambert, Satterwhite, & Zaier, 2008). ...
Article
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Research Findings: Computational thinking (CT), which is defined as the systematic analysis, exploration, and testing of solutions to open-ended and often complex problems, is an important skill to foster in early childhood. However, little is known about teachers’ role in fostering CT in early childhood classrooms. To address this gap, we conducted an exploratory case study to investigate how an exemplary teacher supported preschoolers’ CT learning in developmentally appropriate ways using an interactive programmable toy. We video recorded 12 weekly sessions of a small group of children and employed a hybrid approach—combining open coding and a priori coding based on standard definitions of CT—to analyze the data. Using one “telling” session to illustrate the findings, we discuss how the teacher employed a range of scaffolding strategies to support CT practices (e.g., problem reformation/decomposition, systematic testing, and debugging) and CT perspectives including communication, collaboration, and perseverance. Practice or Policy: Findings underscore the importance of providing professional support for teachers to engage preschoolers in CT learning.
... H εκπαιδευτική αξιοποίηση των νέων τεχνολογιών προσφέρει νέες ευκαιρίες στα παιδιά πρώιμης παιδικής ηλικίας για την αποτελεσματική ενασχόλησή τους με μαθηματικές έννοιες (Clements & Sarama 2013;Couse & Chen 2010;Papadakis et al. 2016;Schacter & Jo 2017). Στην έρευνά τους οι Rogowsky et al. (2018) χρησιμοποίησαν τις ταμπλέτες για να ελέγξουν πώς αυτές επιδρούν στην ανάπτυξη της αριθμητικής ικανότητας παιδιών προσχολικής ηλικίας λόγω της ευκολίας χρήσης τους, σε αντίθεση με τα ποντίκια που χρησιμοποιούμε στους κλασικούς υπολογιστές και τα οποία δημιουργούν προβλήματα συντονισμού χεριών-ματιών. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Nanotechnology is an interdisciplinary field that promises to solve global challenges. The purpose of the research is to examine the effectiveness of tablet-based teaching in comparison to desktop alternatives and the established traditional method for young children in the field of Nanotechnology. Three groups of children from the early-primary school stages go through a teaching session. The control group follows the traditional method that does not utilize technology, the first experimental group is allowed computer-based educational software and the second one uses software that targets tablets. Prior and subsequent to the teaching session, all groups are evaluated through individual semi-structured interviews.
... With the advent of smart screen technology, numerous surveys have examined issues related to integration of these devices into the learning process (Bano et al., 2018;Cheng and Tsai, 2013). The educational adoption of digital technologies offers new opportunities for the young children's effective engagement to mathematical concepts (Papadakis et al., 2016;Schacter and Jo, 2017;Couse and Chen, 2010). In their study, Rogowsky et al. (2018) used tablets to examine how they affect young children's numerical ability due to their ease of use, as opposed to the mice used on desktop computers that cause hand-eye coordination problems. ...
Article
The adoption of digital technologies in early childhood settings attracts the attention of an increasing number of researchers and scholars throughout the globe. Despite the proliferation of investigations focusing on learning through digital technologies in preschool and early-primary education, there are fields of knowledge in which the impact of digital technologies has yet to be explored. A typical example is that of Nano-Science and Nano-Technology (NST). NST is a new interdisciplinary field with products and applications (apps) that utilise the cutting-edge technology and is increasingly penetrating into today's everyday life, promising to solve global challenges. The objectives of this paper are to (a) examine, based on relevant literature, whether digital technologies could enhance the teaching of concepts related to NST in early childhood settings (b) present the perspectives of mobile devices and their educational apps in young children's learning procedure. The study concludes with a theoretical analysis of the research findings and a brief proposal for future research.
... While the intervention group performed better than the control group aligning with previous findings, pre-test scores and gender were found to moderate effects. This time the higher performers (>50%) and female children had better post-test scores in number sense [20]. Enhanced learning outcomes in numbers, shapes, space, and measure were also reported in a number of studies with children 4 to 7 years old, who interacted with a set of apps from OneBillion. ...
Article
Full-text available
The choice of mobile applications (apps) for learning has been heavily relied on customer and teacher reviews, designers’ descriptions, and alignment with existing learning and human-computer interaction theories. There is limited empirical evidence to advise on the educational value of mobile apps as these are used by children. Understanding the impact of mobile apps on young children’s learning is timely given the lack of evidence-based recommendations that could guide parents and teachers in selecting apps for their children. In this paper, we present the results of a series of randomised control trial (RCTs) with 376 children aged 5 to 6 years old who interacted with two maths apps in three schools in the UK. Pre/post-test comparisons revealed learning gains in both the control and intervention groups, suggesting that the selected applications are equally good to standard maths practice. Implications for the selection and use of mobile apps are discussed.
... Working on the assumption that technological tools might be useful for teaching and could help early childhood educators, these findings provide children with a variety of experiences adapted for use in current times (Mattoon, Bates, Shifflet, Latham, & Ennis, 2015). Other applications developed for touch screen devices have resulted in effective and solid foundations in mathematical learning (Kuhn, Holling, Raddatz & Dobel, 2015;Miller, 2018;Outhwaite, Faulder, Gulliford & Pitchford, 2019;Schacter & Jo, 2017;Schenke et al., 2020). Nevertheless, in some cases, there were no statistically significant effects resulting from the use of programs purchased for use on digital platforms (Hellstrand, Korhonen, Linnanmäki, & Aunio, 2019). ...
Thesis
https://rodin.uca.es/handle/10498/26368 There has been a substantial increase in research focused on numerical cognition in recent years. Although the notable growth in scientific productivity worldwide has focused on methods that might improve mathematical learning, mathematics is not yet perceived by all students as an accessible and enjoyable discipline. The study of mathematics is critical to academic success and can have a major impact on adaptation to everyday life. Given the relevance of early education and its impact on future development, advances in this research topic should be addressed using several different approaches. It is certainly essential to explore the cognitive profiles of students who are beginning in mathematical learning, as the intellectual development predicted by these cognitive processes may lead to improved methods of instruction. Studies that focus on variables that influence learning are also important. Among these variables, students' sociodemographics and/or attitudes towards mathematics may be associated with their mathematical development. However, while taking into account the cognitive basis of these findings, it will also be critical to encourage the development of instruments that promote student motivation and improved mathematical learning. The use of state-of-the-art technological devices that operate via the use of touch screens is an influential, accessible, and familiar means of interaction with students in their daily lives and provides an attractive option for the teaching of mathematics. The increased use of technology-mediated methodologies in both educational and domestic fields has encouraged the design of new and effective tools that may be used to improve student learning. This has also led to new methods for instruction on the appropriate use of these technologies and devices by young children in their homes. With this as a background, this study aimed to develop computer applications (APPs) that focused on student training based on our understanding of the cognitive basis of mathematical learning. These APPs were intended to be both didactic and enjoyable tools that can be used in early childhood education. Our goal was to promote the transfer of scientific research on mathematical learning via the development of new tools and to generate synergies with the children's entertainment industry. The results of this study are consistent with findings that document the relevance of the general foundations on which mathematical learning is based and highlighted specific aspects of mathematics as needed to obtain adequate development. The results of our study reveal that touch screen devices and their APPs can be used to develop programs for early childhood education that are focused on the cognitive bases of numerical learning and that cognitive predictors can be used to introduce the appropriate ways of employing these devices in early childhood. This technology can be applied both in the classroom and at home. The goal of these efforts is to improve mathematical competence among students regardless of their initial academic achievement.
... The educational use of digital technologies offers new opportunities for early childhood children to effectively engage with mathematical concepts Schacter & Jo, 2017). In their research, Rogowsky et al. (2018) used tablets to test how they affect the development of preschool children's arithmetic ability due to their ease of use, unlike the mouse and keyboard we use in classic computers, which pose hand-eye coordination challenges to young children. ...
Article
Full-text available
Nano-Science and nano-Technology (NST) is a new interdisciplinary field that promises to provide solutions to timeless global challenges. Given that NST deals with elements that cannot be observed with the naked eye, their understanding by young children undoubtedly requires appropriate teaching methods. These distinct aspects of NST align well with the capabilities of smart mobile devices, the critical feature of which is their ability to display interactive simulations and playful visualizations. This article aims to emphasize the feasibility of empirical research of how digital technologies support NST teaching to young children in the wake of the sudden pandemic outbreak based on a comprehensive literature review. With the virus as the central entity of nanoscale, following the current demands of the unprecedented health crisis, and developing appropriate educational applications in digital games, young children can be introduced to the fundamental concepts of NST. NST is an interdisciplinary field that can enhance children's perceptions of the interconnectedness of nature with different fields of knowledge, such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM).
... Εξαιτίας των ριζικών αλλαγών που έχουν συντελεστεί σε στοιχεία της μορφής των τεχνολογιών, πολλοί ερευνητές έχουν προχωρήσει σε ονομαστικό διαχωρισμό, κάνοντας λόγο για παλιές ή μη ψηφιακές (για παράδειγμα επιτραπέζιοι υπολογιστές) και νέες ή ψηφιακές τεχνολογίες (για παράδειγμα ταμπλέτες) (Kucirkova, 2018). H εκπαιδευτική αξιοποίηση των νέων τεχνολογιών προσφέρει νέες ευκαιρίες στα παιδιά πρώιμης παιδικής ηλικίας για την αποτελεσματική ενασχόλησή τους με μαθηματικές έννοιες (Clements & Sarama, 2013;Couse & Chen, 2010;Papadakis et al., 2016;Schacter & Jo, 2017). Στην έρευνά τους οι Rogowsky et al. (2018) χρησιμοποίησαν τις ταμπλέτες για να ελέγξουν πώς αυτές επιδρούν στην ανάπτυξη της αριθμητικής ικανότητας παιδιών προσχολικής ηλικίας λόγω της ευκολίας χρήσης τους, σε αντίθεση με τα ποντίκια που χρησιμοποιούμε στους κλασικούς υπολογιστές και τα οποία δημιουργούν προβλήματα συντονισμού χεριών-ματιών. ...
Conference Paper
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Η Νανοτεχνολογία είναι ένας διεπιστημονικός τομέας που υπόσχεται να δώσει λύσεις σε παγκόσμιες προκλήσεις. Σκοπός της έρευνας είναι η σύγκριση των μαθησιακών αποτελεσμάτων της διδασκαλίας με τη βοήθεια εφαρμογών για υπολογιστές και ταμπλέτες και της θεματικής διδασκαλίας στο πεδίο της Νανοτεχνολογίας σε μικρά παιδιά. Τρεις ομάδες παιδιών πρώτης σχολικής ηλικίας υποστηρίζονται από μία κατάλληλη διδακτική παρέμβαση. Η ομάδα ελέγχου ακολουθεί την θεματική διδασκαλία που δεν αξιοποιεί την τεχνολογία, η πρώτη πειραματική ομάδα αξιοποιεί εκπαιδευτικό λογισμικό που τρέχει σε υπολογιστές και η δεύτερη πειραματική ομάδα χρησιμοποιεί λογισμικό που στοχεύει σε ταμπλέτες. Πριν και μετά τη διδακτική παρέμβαση όλες οι ομάδες αξιολογούνται με ατομικές ημι-δομημένες συνεντεύξεις.
... With the advent of smart screen technology, numerous surveys have examined issues related to integration of these devices into the learning process (Bano et al., 2018;Cheng and Tsai, 2013). The educational adoption of digital technologies offers new opportunities for the young children's effective engagement to mathematical concepts (Papadakis et al., 2016;Schacter and Jo, 2017;Couse and Chen, 2010). In their study, Rogowsky et al. (2018) used tablets to examine how they affect young children's numerical ability due to their ease of use, as opposed to the mice used on desktop computers that cause hand-eye coordination problems. ...
Article
The adoption of digital technologies in early childhood settings attracts an increasing number of researchers and scholars throughout the globe. Despite the proliferation of investigations focusing on learning through digital technologies in preschool and early primary education, there are fields of knowledge in which the impact of digital technologies has yet to be explored. A typical example is that of Nano-Science and NanoTechnology (NST). NST is a new interdisciplinary field with products and applications (apps) that utilize cutting-edge technology and is increasingly penetrating today’s everyday life, promising to solve global challenges. This paper aims to (a) examine, based on relevant literature, whether digital technologies could enhance the teaching of concepts related to NST in early childhood settings (b) present the perspectives of mobile devices and their educational apps in young children’s learning procedures. The study concludes with a theoretical analysis of the research findings and a brief proposal for future research.
... Manipulative is believed to play important role in encouraging students to learn mathematics. Some studies report that manipulatives, both concrete and virtual, have significant impact in students'achievement [10][11][12]. Manipulative provides opportunity for the students, especially in the thinking stage of operational concrete to understand a concept by supporting the process of assimilation and accommodation [6]. ...
Article
Full-text available
A manipulative is a teaching aid designed such that students could understand mathematical concepts by manipulating it. This article aims to provide an insight to the characteristics of manipulatives produced in the mathematics laboratory of Universitas Ahmad Dahlan, Indonesia. A case study was conducted to observe the existing manipulatives produced during the latest three years and classified the manipulatives based on the characteristics found. There are four kinds of manipulatives: constructivism manipulative, virtual manipulative, informative manipulative, and game-based manipulative. Each kinds of manipulative has different characteristics and impact towards the mathematics learning.
... The literature on teachers' use of math apps also shows teachers implementing math game apps to raise students' arithmetic fluency (van der Ven et al. 2017;Schacter and Jo 2017). These studies have shown pupils improving their arithmetic efficiency when solving game tasks. ...
Article
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The increasing number of technological devices available in schools, aligned with curriculum guidance, set an expectation for mathematics teachers to incorporate these devices into their teaching. This qualitative study investigated prospective teachers' use of TPACK and mathematical action technologies as they created screencast video lessons using iPads. Results showed prospective teachers' effective use of pedagogical techniques and the screencast app as an amplifier tool, according to the amplifier-reorganizer metaphor. Half of the participants used mathematics technology to confirm and expand the results they had found without technology. The other half had mathematics technology integrated into their solution exercising the balance among TPACK components. For some, their use of the mathematical tool had the potential of expanding the mathematical repertoire of virtual students. We conclude by making recommendations for teacher educators to implement cycles of learning for pre-service teachers to design, enact, and reflect upon the creation of screencast video lessons. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11528-020-00578-1.
Article
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When available in multiple languages, educational apps can deliver the same mathematics instruction in the child’s first language or different language of instruction. This pilot study examined the feasibility of a maths app intervention compared to standard mathematical practice with 61 children aged 5–6 years attending a bilingual immersion school in Brazil. The apps were delivered in either the child’s first (L1, Brazilian Portuguese) or second (L2, English) language, while app content, time on task, and school setting were consistent across the two treatment groups. Time on task in the comparison group was less. After 10 weeks, results showed children made significant mathematical learning gains with the apps, for both languages of instruction, compared to standard practice: the finding is discussed in relation to the threat of time spent on task. Children using the apps in Brazilian Portuguese (L1) completed more app topics than children using the apps in English (L2) and proficiency in language of instruction correlated positively with app progress. As children’s L1 was significantly stronger than their L2 proficiency, this suggests the apps were most effectively implemented in their L1. This study advances the conjoining of bilingual educational theories to educational apps in a controlled, real‐world, bilingual immersion setting and highlights important directions for improving app‐based mathematics instruction for bilingual children.
Article
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Because of the continuous stream of touchscreen apps that are claimed to be educational and the increasing use of touchscreen devices in early childhood, considerable attention is being paid to the effect of touchscreens on young children's learning. However, the existing empirical findings in young child samples are not consistent. In this meta-analysis we tested the overall effect of touchscreen devices on young children's (0- to 5-year-olds) learning performance, as well as moderators of this effect, based on 36 empirical articles (79 effect sizes) involving 4,206 participants. The overall analysis showed a significant touchscreen learning effect (d = 0.46), indicating that young children indeed benefited from touchscreen learning. Interestingly, age, learning material domain, comparison group, and experimental environment significantly moderated the effect of touchscreen devices on young children's learning outcome. These findings shed light on the role of touchscreen-related physical experience in early childhood education.
Chapter
This chapter concerns one of the first studies to introduce technology-enhanced learning activities for teaching numeracy skills in Fiji. Year 1 students from a primary school were introduced to tablet-based interactive learning activities which were developed based on the Fiji Year 1 mathematics curriculum. In this study, the impact of using technology-enhanced learning activities for teaching numeracy skills was being investigated. A Learning Management System (LMS), Moodle, was used to create interactive learning activities based on the first two topics of the Fiji Year 1 mathematics curriculum. The two topics were numbers and measurement. An Android-based tablet device was allocated to each student for the duration of this study. Year 1 students in the participating school were required to attempt these interactive learning activities using tablet devices during their mathematics class. All students in the Year 1 class (n = 36) from the participating school were part of the study. There were 13 boys and 23 girls in the class. Results of this study show a promising impact of the technology-enhanced learning activities. Students performed better when they had higher interactions with the technology-enhanced learning activities. The success of this technology intervention paves the way for further research for technology integration in schools in Fiji.
Article
Over the last several years, iPads have become increasingly popular in the classroom. The number of available apps that could be used in the mathematics classroom are countless, but some make better mathematical learning tools than others. This research presents a set of sixteen criteria that can be used to evaluate the potential of an iPad app to be an effective mathematical learning tool. A review of the existing literature on digital learning objects and on iPads and tablet PCs in the classroom is conducted. The evaluation instrument is presented, along with a discussion of each of the sixteen criteria. The instrument is then applied to seven apps designed for learning algebraic concepts. From this sample of seven apps, common themes are examined. Implications for educators, designers, and for future research are discussed. © 2018 International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology. All rights reserved. Access article at https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1178352.pdf
Article
MANET is standing for Network as Mobile Ad-hoc which is a self-directed mobile handlers group that communicates over relative bandwidth-constrained wireless channels. Many services with different classes of Quality of Services (QoS) could be provided through MANET such as data, voice, and video streaming. Thus, efficient packets routing is an essential issue, especially over this kind of burst channel. To settle this issue, many scheduling techniques are proposed to reduce the packets dropping and channel collision when a huge demand of data is transferred from a sender to a receiver. In this paper, four MANET scheduling algorithms are selected and investigated in mobile ad hoc networks which are Strict Preference (SP), Round Robin (RR), Weighted Round Robin (WRR), and Weighted Fair (WF). The network simulator EXata 2.0.1 is used to build the scenario which is consist of 50 nodes and performed the simulation. The results showed the performance metrics difference of the network such as the throughput and the end-end delay as well as queuing metrics like peak queue size, average queue length, in queue average time, and dropped of whole packets. Regrading throughput, the SP algorithm has a greater throughput than WF, RR, and WRR by 4.5%, 2.4%, and 1.42%, but WRR has outperformed others regarding the end-end delay. Moreover, WRR represents the best scheduling algorithm regarding both peak queue size since its greater than RP, WF, and WRR by 10.13%, 9.6%, and 5.32%, in order, and average output queue length, in contrast, WRR worsts more time in queuing but it is the best in preventing the packets from dropping.
Article
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There are digital applications that effectively encourage young children to participate in interdisciplinary activities. However, as the recent literature highlights, there is a significant lack of developmentally appropriate digital applications with the ability to educationally encourage effective interaction of early childhood children with nanotechnology, a cutting-edge technology, which nowadays can be a substantial and noteworthy opportunity as children already are strong allies in the unprecedented fight against the new coronavirus. This paper presents a pilot experimental study that aimed to investigate the impact of two distinct teaching techniques on the level of young children’s nano-literacy, namely that of technology-aided teaching, that employs the use of computers and tablets in comparison to non-technology-based teaching, focusing on Nanotechnology's first Big Idea; size and scale. Three groups of early school-age children were supported by a developmentally appropriate teaching intervention. The control group followed the teaching methodology that does not employ technological means. The first and second experimental groups used the same educational software on computers and tablets respectively. Before and after the instructional intervention, all groups were assessed with the NANO-Technology Elementary Knowledge Assessment TEst (TENANO). The findings revealed that the experimental groups significantly outperformed the control group on the post-test, with the tablet group being the predominant amongst the two.
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In this paper, motivated in part by evidence that Swedish teachers are sceptical of parents’ abilities to offer appropriate support, we present an exploratory investigation of the activities Swedish parents initiate to facilitate their year-one (first grade) children’s learning of mathematics. Data, derived from 25 semi-structured interviews conducted with parents from three demographically different schools, were subjected to constant comparison analyses and yielded three broad categories of activity. These concerned the use of games in the learning of mathematics, contextualised mathematics activities like cooking and shopping, and decontextualised mathematics activities like systematic counting. Collectively, the results indicate that while parents of year-one children are confident supporting their children’s learning of mathematics, they are also conscious of the need to avoid both undermining schools’ efforts and exacerbating educational inequity. With few exceptions, the activities parents described were age-appropriate and more likely to complement teachers’ actions than not.
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The aim of this study is to explore the impact on kindergarten children’s mathematical competence after the implementation of a software application for comparison, classification, one-to-one correspondence, and counting with tablet computers. The application consisted of some comparison, classification, one-to-one correspondence, and counting activities, designed following the background of realistic mathematics education and more specifically that of the learning teaching trajectory for the domain of mathematics. Four kindergarten schools of Heraklion participated in the study, which was conducted during spring 2017. The research followed the pre-test and post-test model, using the Early Numeracy Test (ENT), an instrument measuring the early mathematical competence. The test comprises of questions for the concepts of comparison, classification, one-to-one correspondence, seriation, using counting words, structured counting, resultative counting, and general knowledge of numbers. The results of the study support a positive correlation between children’s early numeracy competence and the integration of tablet computers in teaching and learning numbers.
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Despite the general agreement regarding the importance of stimulating young children’s early mathematical skills, mathematical learning opportunities in preschool are limited. Educational technology (ET) may be an effective tool to address this problem. Taking into account the weaknesses of previous reviews, we conducted a systematic and comprehensive review of the research literature on the effectiveness of ET in early mathematics education, critically analyzing the findings of studies adhering to a media comparison approach (comparing an ET condition to a non-ET condition or another ET condition) versus studies following a value-added approach (comparing at least two ET conditions which only differ with respect to one feature in the ET or in its implementation). Reviewing 54 studies, we systematically analyzed (1) the effectiveness of ET, (2) the features of the ET and ET implementation associated with ET effectiveness, and (3) child characteristics associated with ET effectiveness. Our analyses indicated that media comparison studies comparing an ET to a non-ET condition provide evidence for the effectiveness of ET for enhancing young children’s mathematical competencies. Second, value-added studies pointed to ET implementation features associated with ET effectiveness, namely teacher support during ET use and an individual grouping structure. Finally, both media comparison and value-added studies revealed that ET effectiveness is associated with children’s performance in the ET and with their prior knowledge. To further advance the field, value-added studies on features of the ET and its implementation are required, as well as studies focusing on important child characteristics that are associated with ET effectiveness.
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La innovación educativa en el ámbito de la enseñanza científica ha demostrado en los últimos años la importancia de integrar tecnologías digitales. Para integrar estas tecnologías es necesario tener en cuenta el contexto (el nivel educativo) y contar con profesorado formado en competencias digitales docentes. En este artículo hemos realizado una búsqueda y análisis de diferentes experiencias educativas de enseñanza científica apoyadas en el uso de tecnologías avanzadas en todos los niveles educativos reglados (infantil, primaria, secundaria y universidad). Las buenas prácticas seleccionadas se caracterizan por ser experiencias reales apoyadas en tecnologías avanzadas y con datos de evaluación que ponen de manifiesto sus buenos resultados. Están catalogadas en función del nivel y del tipo de tecnología utilizada (robótica, realidad extendida, plataformas/apps, videojuegos e inteligencia artificial). Destacamos el caso del proyecto Create-Skills en el cual se ha utilizado una plataforma colaborativa para promover la colaboración entre profesorado y familias con el fin de implementar una enseñanza activa de disciplinas científicas en primaria.
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Thousands of educational apps are available to students, teachers, and parents, yet research on their effectiveness is limited. This meta-analysis synthesized findings from 36 intervention studies and 285 effect sizes evaluating the effectiveness of edu- cational apps for preschool to Grade 3 children and the moderating role of methodological, participant, and intervention characteristics. Using random effects meta-regression with robust variance estimation, we summarized the overall impact of educational apps and examined potential moderator effects. First, results from rigorous experimental and quasi-experimental studies yielded a mean weighted effect size of +0.31 standard deviations on overall achievement and comparable effects in both math and literacy. Second, the positive overall effect masks substantial variability in app effectiveness, as meta-regres- sion analyses revealed three significant moderators of treatment effects. Treatment effects were larger for studies involving preschool rather than K–3 students, for studies using researcher-developed rather than standardized outcomes, and for stud- ies measuring constrained rather than unconstrained skills.
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Mobile devices are now ubiquitous across communities of all income levels, with very young children spending a great deal of time on smartphones and tablets even before they begin formal schooling. If this time could be channeled towards fostering school readiness, it might help narrow the SES opportunity gap. To date, however, little research has examined the effects of preschoolers’ home use of educational apps. The current study evaluated the Khan Academy Kids (Khan Kids) app with children from families with low incomes. We employed a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effects of home use of the app on 4- and 5-year-olds’ emergent literacy skills. At baseline, parents reported that their preschoolers used mobile media 99 minutes per day, with very little of this time described as educational. After a pretest assessment, the Khan Kids app was used an average of 13 minutes per day for 10 weeks and was well received. Children who used this app showed increases in their emergent literacy skills compared to children provided with age-appropriate apps not targeting these skills. Results suggest that educational apps could provide a practical tool for fostering academic success and narrowing the SES opportunity gap.
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The present study aimed to assess the effect of the use of tablet computers in teaching division to kindergarten students. Our research compares the level of mathematical competence of the students taught using our tablet oriented learning method which specifically takes advantage of ‘Realistic Mathematics Education’ (RME) for the concept of division, as opposed to traditional teaching methodology. The software was designed to follow the RME theory. The present study used one experimental and one control group. We found that the students who were taught with educational intervention with the use of tablet computers and the RME theory had a significant improvement on their understanding of division in comparison to those taught using the traditional teaching method. The teaching of Mathematics for kindergarteners using tablet computers has emerged as a vital area of study and academic research.
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El uso de aplicaciones móviles educativas en las aulas se proyecta como una herramienta para mejorar el rendimiento en matemáticas. El objetivo del presente trabajo es realizar una revisión sistemática centrada en los beneficios que su uso puede aportar en la adquisición de la competencia matemática temprana. Se ha realizado una revisión sistemática de la literatura publicada en bases de datos nacionales e internacionales, desde enero 2015. Los datos se han clasificado dando lugar a una descripción de estas aplicaciones móviles. Los resultados iniciales facilitaron 1329 referencias, identificando únicamente 25 de estos estudios dentro de los criterios de inclusión prefijados. La mayoría de las evidencias informan de un impacto positivo tras el uso de las aplicaciones móviles educativas en el aula, tanto en el rendimiento y la motivación como en las actitudes de aprendizaje de los estudiantes en el área de matemáticas.
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The definitions serve the purpose of communication and preservation of knowledge in scientific inquiry. However, it is quite often to perceive number sense concept without well-accepted definitions in the field of mathematics education research. Despite the mentioned issue, the current literature on children's number sense provide a glean for introducing, implementing, and even measuring the number sense using the specific and contextualized indicators in early mathematics. Consequently, this phenomenon offers to bridge a gap in the literature concerning definitions of number sense and its indicators. This article systematically reviews on the indicators in measuring children's number sense based on the past research guided by the PRISMA statements. The metadata were analysed using open-coding and were further re-coded through axial coding and selective coding to form a definition of number sense. This article discusses on limitations, implications, and the future research directions for studying children's number sense in the primary schools' mathematics.
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This chapter investigates students' comprehension of the alphabet and its accompanying vocabulary, using an ICT-oriented teaching approach that is based upon Van Hiele's levels of geometric thought. The participating sample consisted of Greek students attending the second grade of primary school in Crete. The sample was divided into two groups, which were distributed among an experimental and a control group. The control group was taught following the traditional instruction, according to the pedagogical principles of Curriculum for the second grade of primary school. The experimental group was taught through an ICT-oriented intervention based upon Van Hiele's levels. The results of the research will assist greatly in achieving a more thorough understanding of the instruction of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and possible implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), to maximize its effectiveness.
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In this study, a situation-based interactive e-book system was developed for improving children’s learning performance of numerical operations. To evaluate the effectiveness of the system, an experiment was conducted in one kindergarten. The results showed that the proposed approach significantly improved the children’s learning achievements. There was also a significant difference in the approach to learning of the two groups of subjects who worked with and without the e-book. In addition, progressive sequential analysis was employed to explore the learning behavioral patterns of the experimental and control groups as well as of the low- and high-achievers in the experimental group. It was found that the experimental group children tried more strategies to complete tasks, while the control group and the low-achievement children paid more attention to peer communication.
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The efficacy of a hand-held tablet technology intervention with learner-centred interactive software aimed at supporting the development of early maths skills was evaluated in four studies conducted in three UK primary schools. Immediate and sustained gains in mathematics were determined by comparing maths performance before, immediately after, and 5-months after the intervention. The impact of the child's first language, socio-economic status and basic cognitive skills (non-verbal intelligence, memory, processing speed and receptive vocabulary) on learning gains was also explored. In total, 133 pupils aged 4–6 years took part. Class teachers implemented the maths intervention for a specified period of time. Results showed significant immediate and sustained learning gains following the intervention, particularly for children identified as low-achievers. No significant effect of child's first language or socio-economic status was found but children with weaker memory skills demonstrated stronger learning gains. Overall, these findings indicate that tablet technology can provide a form of individualised effective support for early maths development, when software is age appropriate and grounded in a well-designed curriculum. Apps that incorporate repetitive and interactive features might help to reduce cognitive task demands, which could be particularly beneficial to low-achievers and could help to close the gap in early maths attainment from the start of primary school.
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This paper provides a review of the literature from 2009 to 2014 on student use of technology in early childhood education. Previous efforts to synthesize the literature are somewhat dated, non-specific about age range, and focus almost exclusively on literacy. Thirty peer-reviewed articles from 11 countries, selected from a comprehensive search of the literature, were organized into five main categories: literacy, engagement, social interactions, mathematics, and miscellaneous topics. The overall effect size, based on only 12 studies and 33 measures was moderately high (d= 0.71, SD=0.60). Considerable qualitative and quantitative evidence indicated that technology had a significant impact on literacy development. Fewer studies, mostly qualitative in design and small in sample size, reported that technology had a positive impact on engagement, social interactions, and mathematics skills. A handful of studies provided qualitative evidence that technology had a positive impact on sequencing, visual perception, creative thinking, and fine motor capability. Methodological concerns included limited sample sizes and descriptions, not documenting the consistency and accuracy data of collection tools, the extent of adult intervention, and the limited range of technology tools used.
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Research Findings: Effective preschool mathematics instruction is especially important for low-income children. Previous research demonstrates that low-income children enter kindergarten behind their middle-income peers. They receive less mathematics support at home and from public preschools. The aim of this study was to test Math Shelf, a tablet intervention designed to improve at-risk preschoolers’ mathematics performance. A total of 100 children participated in a randomized controlled trial in a large urban Head Start center. Intervention students played Math Shelf on tablet computers for 6 weeks, whereas comparison students played the most downloaded and best reviewed preschool math apps on tablets for an equal amount of time. During game play, graduate student researchers supervised intervention and comparison students in separate rooms. Intervention and comparison groups did not differ on pretest assessments. Math Shelf students performed statistically significantly better (Cohen’s d = 0.57) than comparison students at posttest. Practice or Policy: Math Shelf results suggest that teachers can enhance low-income preschoolers’ mathematics knowledge in a relatively short amount of time by incorporating developmentally appropriate tablet interventions.
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Evaluation of educational interventions is necessary prior to wide-scale rollout. Yet very few rigorous studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of tablet-based interventions, especially in the early years and in developing countries. This study reports a randomized control trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a tablet intervention for supporting the development of early mathematical skills in primary school children in Malawi. A total sample of 318 children, spanning Standards 1-3, attending a medium-sized urban primary school, were randomized to one of three groups: maths tablet intervention, non-maths tablet control, and standard face-to-face practice. Children were pre-tested using tablets at the start of the school year on two tests of mathematical knowledge and a range of basic skills related to scholastic progression. Class teachers then delivered the intervention over an 8-week period, for the equivalent of 30-minutes per day. Technical support was provided from the local Voluntary Service Overseas. Children were then post-tested on the same assessments as given at pre-test. A final sample of 283 children from Standards 1-3, present at both pre- and post-test, was analyzed to investigate the effectiveness of the maths tablet intervention. Significant effects of the maths tablet intervention over and above standard face-to-face practice or using tablets without the maths software were found in Standard 2 and 3. In Standard 3 the greater learning gains shown by the maths tablet intervention group compared to both of the control groups on the tablet-based assessments transferred to paper and pencil format, illustrating generalization of knowledge gained. Thus, tablet technology can effectively support early years mathematical skills in developing countries if the software is carefully designed to engage the child in the learning process and the content is grounded in a solid well-constructed curriculum appropriate for the child’s developmental stage.
Technical Report
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Tablet technologies such as the Apple iPad (iPad) have been garnering interest and increasingly adopted as a potential learning tool and resource to engage children’s learning. Despite a growing literature on the ways educators have attempted to use iPads in their teaching across the compulsory schooling and tertiary sectors, there is a scarcity of studies in the early childhood education (ECE) context. This exploratory qualitative research project, the iPads and opportunities for teaching and learning for young children (iPads n Kids), is intended to inform the current debate on young children’s iPad use. It aimed to better understand the iPad use for educational purposes from the perspective of teachers, young children and their parents/caregivers. It recognises that young children are increasingly exposed to (and to an extent expected to make use of) digital and mobile technologies as members of a digital generation. Teachers and caregivers are further expected to take advantage of the educational affordances these technologies offer to facilitate young children’s active pursuit and extension of their learning interests and exploration of the world. This research involved a collaboration with two early childhood education (ECE) teachers at an education and care centre in Hamilton, New Zealand, to gain insight into the perspectives of the teachers, a number of the young children in their care, and the parents/ caregivers of four children concerning iPad adoption and use. Interviews with the two teachers, young children and their parents, observations of teacher interactions with children using iPads, and copies of children’s work produced as part of the teaching and learning process using iPads provided evidence on the use of iPads. iPad use on its own was never the main focus rather it was integrated with and part of teachers’ daily practice and context. The findings highlight that the iPad is appealing and can support children’s developing literacy, communicative and participatory learning skills and understandings. The iPad’s key features including its portability/mobility, Internet connectivity, touchscreen, and educational apps allow for new and different ways of teacher-child/children interaction and the exploration of children’s learning interests. Teachers’ iPad supported practice fostered child-led interests, expanded children’s learning opportunities and fostered closer home-centre links in a range of planned and emergent ways. The iPads served as a relational tool, a communicative tool, a documentation tool, an informational tool, and finally, an observational tool that could support child-led learning. The quality of teachers’ talk and interaction with the children, when scaffolding children’s learning with and through the iPad, was an important aspect of teacher practice. In the same way they helped children become aware of the iPad’s affordances and its appropriate use. Quality teacher-child talk not only benefitted the individual child but also served as a model for children of how talk can be used and useful to group learning. Although young children can develop key skills for using the iPad through observing and trial and error, their interactions with the teacher and peers were most valuable to their exploration of iPad use. Just as importantly, iPad use afforded interactions amongst children. It supported peer learning and collaborative exploration with and through the iPad. iPad supported learning opportunities helped to foster children’s emerging literacies as well as social relationships and sense of belonging at the centre. Finally, findings showed that supportive home-centre links can foster the development of children's agency and exploration of the iPad in pursuit of their learning interests and explorations. Parent and caregiver comments indicate their recognition of the increasingly important role iPads and subsequent digital technologies will play across all aspects of children’s lives. They downloaded apps on their home mobile devices to allow children to continue playing and extending their learning interest thereby strengthening home-centre links and practices. Parents and caregivers (as with the teachers) cautioned the need for clear guidelines to guide, support and scope children’s iPad use to help ensure they developed the awareness, dispositions and skills essential to the effective use of digital technologies. Some parents adopted rules similar to those such used at the centre to help maintain continuity between home-centre practices. Eight key implications are raised by the study. These are: For young children’s learning: 1. iPads are one of the wide repertoire of digital and mobile technologies available for today’s young children to use to access resources to inform their, and their peers’ learning. Young children are able to use iPads to express, share and communicate their ideas to others in multimodal ways that are appealing and meaningful to them. Young children are able to emulate teacher talk to help peers become aware of, and use, iPads productively within peer group learning. For teaching practice: 2. Teachers valuing of children’s interests and funds of knowledge is an important influence on how iPads come to be integrated into their teaching practice and enrich learning. 3. Teacher recognition and understanding of the opportunities iPads offer and their deliberate incorporation of these opportunities can support young children’s learning and exploration. 4. The quality of teacher talk and interaction is central to children becoming aware of and developing the skills, confidence and dispositions for meaningful and productive engagement with iPads. 5. Teachers’ modelling and negotiation of guidelines (including limits and social etiquette) for children’s use and sharing of iPads, when they are a limited resource, is essential to ensure appropriate and productive use. For teacher learning: 6. For teachers to recognise the affordances that iPads offer they need time to explore and experiment with the iPad’s different functionalities and possibilities. As teachers grow in confidence and expertise they can share and reflect on the possibilities for iPad use with colleagues, to the mutual benefit of both groups. For use across ECE centres and homes: 7. Complementary practices and consistent guidelines are important in helping children make sense of the role the iPad can have as a tool to support their learning interests and explorations, both at the early childhood centre and in children’s homes. 8. iPad use in centre and home settings can provide a focus of communication between teachers and parents about children’s learning, thereby strengthening home-centre links. It is our hope that the ideas, examples and issues raised by this study will contribute new avenues for discussion and policy about the potential for digital technologies use by young children.
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Children are in the midst of a vast, unplanned experiment, surrounded by digital technologies that were not available but 5 years ago. At the apex of this boom is the introduction of applications ("apps") for tablets and smartphones. However, there is simply not the time, money, or resources available to evaluate each app as it enters the market. Thus, "educational" apps-the number of which, as of January 2015, stood at 80,000 in Apple's App Store (Apple, 2015)-are largely unregulated and untested. This article offers a way to define the potential educational impact of current and future apps. We build upon decades of work on the Science of Learning, which has examined how children learn best. From this work, we abstract a set of principles for two ultimate goals. First, we aim to guide researchers, educators, and designers in evidence-based app development. Second, by creating an evidence-based guide, we hope to set a new standard for evaluating and selecting the most effective existing children's apps. In short, we will show how the design and use of educational apps aligns with known processes of children's learning and development and offer a framework that can be used by parents and designers alike. Apps designed to promote active, engaged, meaningful, and socially interactive learning-four "pillars" of learning-within the context of a supported learning goal are considered educational. © The Author(s) 2015.
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In this paper, we discuss how iPads offer innovative opportunities for early literacy learning but also present challenges for teachers and children. We lent iPads to a Children’s Centre nursery (3- to 4-year-olds), a primary school reception class (4- to 5-year-olds) and a Special School (7- to 13-year-olds), discussed their potential uses with staff in pre- and post-interviews and observed how they were integrated into practice over a two-month period. We found variability in the ways iPads were used across the settings, but a commonality was that well-planned; iPad-based literacy activities stimulated children’s motivation and concentration. They also offered rich opportunities for communication, collaborative interaction, independent learning, and for children to achieve high levels of accomplishment. In some cases, this led teachers favourably to re-evaluate the children’s literacy competence, and enabled children to construct positive images of themselves in the literacy classroom. Practitioners particularly valued the opportunities iPads afforded to deliver curriculum guidelines in new ways, and to familiarise all students with touch-screen technologies.
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In this paper we describe a touchscreen application called TouchCounts, which is designed to support the development of number sense in the early years. We first provide an a priori analysis of its affordances. Then, using Sfard’s communicational approach, augmented by a focus both on the role of the body—particularly the fingers and hands—and emotions in the mathematical communication of a child, a teacher and a touchscreen device, we show how two 5-year-old girls learn about counting and adding.
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Background Minimizing sedentary behavior, in particular screen-based sedentary behavior, during the early years is important for healthy growth and development. Consequently, new Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for the Early Years (aged 0–4 years) were recently released. Researchers are unclear what messages should supplement the guidelines when disseminating them to parents and when using the guidelines in behaviour-change interventions to increase adoption. The objective of this study was to qualitatively examine parents’ perceptions of the new Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for the Early Years. Methods Parents with a child ≤4 years who attended a child care centre were purposefully recruited from child care centres. A total of 7 semi-structured focus groups with 2 to 5 parents were conducted from August to November, 2013 by a trained and experienced moderator. Participants were asked a series of open-ended questions pertaining to the Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines information sheet. Initial themes were identified followed by further review and analysis. Results For the most part parents thought the guidelines were clear and did not disagree with the recommendations per se. However, some confusion arose around the value of some sedentary activities, such as reading and coloring, for social and cognitive development. Many parents described feeling guilty after reading the guidelines and perceived several barriers in meeting the daily recommendations. Common barriers included the need to balance multiple demands of family life, the prevalence and accessibility of screen technology, and the weather and built environment where families live. Parents expressed the importance of communicating the guidelines early enough for good habits to be established and the need for realistic strategies and ideas to help them meet the recommendations. Conclusions Overall the findings indicate that gain-framed messages around the role of screen-based and non-screen-based sedentary behavior for children’s cognitive and social development might be most effective for adoption of the guidelines. Furthermore, providing parents the guidelines early with resources for minimizing sedentary behavior should also be considered. Future research is needed in other demographic groups of parents to confirm these findings.
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The use of touch screen tablets by young children is increasing in the home and in early childhood settings. The simple tactile interface and finger-based operating features of tablets may facilitate preschoolers’ use of tablet application software and support their educational development in domains such as literacy. This article reviews current findings on using touch screen tablets in supporting early literacy development within a theoretical framework. The evidence suggests that tablets have the potential to enhance children’s emergent literacy skills (e.g., alphabet knowledge, print concepts, and emergent writing). However, the optimal use of tablets for early literacy learning may be dependent upon the type of scaffolding used by parent or teacher and the availability and quality of literacy tablet applications. Practical implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
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The past few years have seen an array of new technological gadgets arrive on the education scene, perhaps the best known of these being Apple's i-Device range, particularly the iPad. Such devices have been described by some as 'game changers', and promoted as a key component to stimulating much-needed educational reform. However, history suggests the hype and rhetoric surrounding these technological innovations has failed to match the reality of their performance, in action. Some have attributed this failure to a lack of alignment by teachers of pedagogical models with the potential of technologies, while others argue that claims made are simply unrealistic sales hype. Regardless, schools continue to be seduced by these new technologies, purchasing ever increasing amounts based on the alleged learning promises they offer their students. This study presents an innovative approach to exploring student interaction with iPad apps, and is an attempt to begin to unpack factors that affect their learning pathways, in an effort to improve the educational potential of these popular devices. It focuses specifically on design and content features of apps selected by an experienced teacher to enhance literacy, numeracy and problem-solving capabilities of her 5 year old students. Findings reveal a complex matrix of influencing factors. These include the effect of embedded pedagogical scaffolds (eg., modelling, reflection time), corrective and formative feedback, text-to-speech functionality, imposed interaction parameters, impediments (eg., web links, advertisements, buying content) and the entertainment/education balance. Arguments are made for researchers, teachers and developers to work together and adopt methodologies such as that introduced in this article, to gather data to radically improve the design of apps used by young students for learning.
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Recent studies indicate that students in the United States are not achieving sufficient mathematics skills to meet the demands required of them within and outside of school. Among the keys to preventing mathematics difficulties are to identify and intervene with those students who may be most at-risk for later failure, monitoring their progress as frequently as possible. Unfortunately, current mathematics tests do not meet both these keys until mathematics instruction is well underway. This study examines the reliability, validity, and sensitivity of four experimental early mathematics measures designed for use in early identification and formative evaluation. The measures were based on the principle of number sense and were designed to assess the precursors of mathematics understanding learned before children are able to do formal mathematics. First grade students (N = 52) were tested and interscorer, alternate form, test-retest reliability, and concurrent and predictive validity with three criterion measures were examined. Results showed that the four experimental measures each had sufficient evidence of their reliability, validity, and sensitivity. The differences in the utility of each experimental measure are analyzed from an early identification and formative evaluation perspective. Implications for practice are discussed.
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In the last four years there have been a number of calls for research into many aspects of early childhood mathematics education. As well, there has been an unprecedented increase in Australasian research in this field. How have these two factors matched? That is, are mathematics education researchers studying the aspects of the field that have been identified for further research? This paper provides the beginnings of a discussion around this question by highlighting particular Australasian early childhood mathematics education research endeavours and linking them to recent statements calling for further research in the field.
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Math achievement in elementary school is mediated by performance and growth in number sense during kindergarten. The aim of the present study was to test the effectiveness of a targeted small-group number sense intervention for high-risk kindergartners from low-income communities. Children were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups (n = 44 in each group): a number sense intervention group, a language intervention group, or a business-as-usual control group. Accounting for initial skill level in mathematical knowledge, children who received the number sense intervention performed better than controls at immediate posttest, with meaningful effects on measures of number competencies and general math achievement. Many of the effects held 8 weeks after the intervention was completed, suggesting that children internalized what they had learned. There were no differences between the language and control groups on any math-related measures.
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Previous research indicates that, prior to entering kindergarten, most children are exposed to some type of formal or direct mathematics instruction. However, the type of mathematical language and the frequency of its use vary greatly in terms of its emphasis on academic content. This study investigated the types and frequency of mathematical language used in six classrooms for children ranging in age from birth to five years. The study site was a quality early childhood setting at a state university in Southwest. Results indicated that utterances pertaining to spatial relations exceeded any other type of mathematical concepts by approximately twice the frequency. In addition, there was a paucity of higher level mathematical concepts observed. These data suggest a need for enhanced attention to higher level mathematical concepts explored in early childhood settings.
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Mindfulness training has had salutary effects with adult populations and it is seen as a potentially helpful to children’s development. How to implement mindfulness practices with young children is not yet clear; some meditation practices, like sitting still for long periods with internally-self-regulated focused attention, seem developmentally inappropriate. Montessori schooling is a 100-year-old system that naturally incorporates practices that align with mindfulness and are suited to very young children. Here I describe how several aspects of Montessori education, including privileging concentrated attention, attending to sensory experience, and engaging in practical work, parallel mindfulness practices. These aspects might be responsible for some of the socio-emotional and executive function benefits that have been associated with Montessori education, and they could be adapted to conventional classroom methods. KeywordsEducation–Mindfulness practices–Montessori–Attention–Concentration
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Concern about poor mathematics achievement in U.S. schools has increased in recent years. In part, poor achievement may be attributed to a lack of attention to early instruction and missed opportunities to build on young children's early understanding of mathematics. This study examined the development and feasibility testing of a kindergarten mathematics curriculum designed to focus on the development of early number sense, geometry, measurement, and mathematics vocabulary. A mixed-model analysis of covariance, using pretest score as a covariate, was used to determine the effect of the experimental curriculum on student achievement on a standardized measure of early mathematics. Achievement results as well as implementation fidelity and teacher satisfaction suggest that further empirical research on the efficacy of the curriculum is warranted.
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Early childhood mathematics is vitally important for young children's present and future educational success. Research demonstrates that virtually all young children have the capability to learn and become competent in mathematics. Furthermore, young children enjoy their early informal experiences with mathematics. Unfortunately, many children's potential in mathematics is not fully realized, especially those children who are economically disadvantaged. This is due, in part, to a lack of opportunities to learn mathematics in early childhood settings or through everyday experiences in the home and in their communities. Improvements in early childhood mathematics education can provide young children with the foundation for school success. Relying on a comprehensive review of the research, Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood lays out the critical areas that should be the focus of young children's early mathematics education, explores the extent to which they are currently being incorporated in early childhood settings, and identifies the changes needed to improve the quality of mathematics experiences for young children. This book serves as a call to action to improve the state of early childhood mathematics. It will be especially useful for policy makers and practitioners-those who work directly with children and their families in shaping the policies that affect the education of young children. © 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Chapter
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This study examined the reliability, validity, and predictive utility of kindergarten screening for risk for math difficulty (MD). Three screening measures, administered in September and May of kindergarten to 196 students, assessed number sense and computational fluency. Conceptual and procedural outcomes were measured at end of first grade, with MD operationalized as below the 16th percentile. The authors compared single- versus multiple-skill screeners, fall versus spring kindergarten screening, and conceptual versus procedural outcomes. Reliability and validity coefficients were adequate. Logistic regression and receiver operating characteristics analyses indicated that the single- and multiple-skill screeners produced good and similar classification accuracy at the fall and spring screening occasions in forecasting conceptual outcome. To forecast procedural outcome, the screeners produced similar but less accurate fits.
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With a randomized field experiment of 587 first-graders, we tested an educational intervention designed to promote interactions between children and parents relating to math. We predicted that increasing math activities at home would increase children's math achievement at school. We tested this prediction by having children engage in math story time with their parents. The intervention, short numerical story problems delivered through an iPad app, significantly increased children's math achievement across the school year compared to a reading (control) group, especially for children whose parents are habitually anxious about math. Brief, high-quality parent-child interactions about math at home help break the intergenerational cycle of low math achievement.
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Although previous research has established the association between early-grade mathematics knowledge and later mathematics achievement, few studies have measured mathematical skills prior to school entry, and few have investigated the predictive power of early gains in mathematics ability. The current paper relates mathematical skills measured at 54 months to adolescent mathematics achievement using multisite longitudinal data. We find that preschool mathematics ability predicts mathematics achievement through age 15, even after accounting for early reading, cognitive skills, and family and child characteristics. Moreover, we find that growth in mathematical ability between age 54 months and first grade is an even stronger predictor of adolescent mathematics achievement. These results demonstrate the importance of prekindergarten mathematics knowledge and early math learning for later achievement.
Chapter
During the review period, there has been unprecedented political interest in early childhood education in Australasia (taken to be education of and for children aged between 0 and 8 years old). In New Zealand a review of the implementation of the respected prior-to-school curriculum framework Te Whāriki (Ministry of Education [MoE], 1996) has been recommended. For schools, the New Zealand Curriculum (MoE, 2007) was introduced in 2007. In Australia, the Early Years Learning Framework for Australia (Department of Education, Employment and Workforce Relations [DEEWR], 2009) was implemented from 2010 and Phase 1 of the implementation of the Australian Curriculum (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2010), including mathematics, has begun. All of this interest in early childhood has provided some stimulus for early childhood mathematics education research in Australasia, building on the substantial work that was reported in the previous two MERGA reviews of research (Perry & Dockett, 2004; Perry, Young-Loveridge, Dockett, & Doig, 2008). However, the quantum of early childhood education research emanating from Australasia seems to have diminished since these earlier reviews, perhaps because of a substantial lessening of the work stimulated by the heavily supported systemic numeracy programs in both Australia and New Zealand. The purpose of this chapter is to critique and celebrate the most significant of the Australasian early childhood mathematics education research that has been published over the review period 2008-2011 and to use this critique to look forward into the next review period with suggestions for future research. The chapter is divided into sections dealing with Australasian research of contexts, pedagogies and content for early childhood mathematics education.
Book
Change is constant in everyday life. Infants crawl and then walk, children learn to read and write, teenagers mature in myriad ways, and the elderly become frail and forgetful. Beyond these natural processes and events, external forces and interventions instigate and disrupt change: test scores may rise after a coaching course, drug abusers may remain abstinent after residential treatment. By charting changes over time and investigating whether and when events occur, researchers reveal the temporal rhythms of our lives. This book is concerned with behavioral, social, and biomedical sciences. It offers a presentation of two of today's most popular statistical methods: multilevel models for individual change and hazard/survival models for event occurrence (in both discrete- and continuous-time). Using data sets from published studies, the book takes you step by step through complete analyses, from simple exploratory displays that reveal underlying patterns through sophisticated specifications of complex statistical models.
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One in five adults in the United States is functionally innumerate; they do not possess the mathematical competencies needed for many modern jobs. We administered functional numeracy measures used in studies of young adults' employability and wages to 180 thirteen-year-olds. The adolescents began the study in kindergarten and participated in multiple assessments of intelligence, working memory, mathematical cognition, achievement, and in-class attentive behavior. Their number system knowledge at the beginning of first grade was defined by measures that assessed knowledge of the systematic relations among Arabic numerals and skill at using this knowledge to solve arithmetic problems. Early number system knowledge predicted functional numeracy more than six years later (ß = 0.195, p = .0014) controlling for intelligence, working memory, in-class attentive behavior, mathematical achievement, demographic and other factors, but skill at using counting procedures to solve arithmetic problems did not. In all, we identified specific beginning of schooling numerical knowledge that contributes to individual differences in adolescents' functional numeracy and demonstrated that performance on mathematical achievement tests underestimates the importance of this early knowledge.
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This book offers an ambitious new system for evaluating, compensating, and providing professional development for school teachers and administrators. In this realigned system, new forms of accountability are introduced, but they go hand in hand with new rewards and access to enhanced forms of professional development to help educators succeed in their instructional tasks. This book is divided into four parts. Part I, "Introduction", contains the following chapters: (1) Overview of the OPE Framework (Theodore Hershberg and Claire Robertson-Kraft); and (2) Professional Unionism (Julia E. Koppich and Brad Jupp). Part II, "The New Reward Structure: Evaluating Educators", contains the following chapters: (3) Choosing a Value-Added Model (William Sanders and June Rivers); (4) Teacher Evaluation--Performance Frameworks (Charlotte Danielson); (5) Administrator Evaluation (John Deasy); (6) Compensation (Marc J. Wallace Jr.); and (7) Compensating Educators in the Absence of Value-Added Assessment (Virginia Adams Simon). Part III, "Support for Educators: Using Data to Drive Instruction", contains the following chapters: (8) Integrated Assessment--Summative, Formative, and Assessment for Learning (Margaret Jorgensen, Claire Robertson-Kraft, and Theodore Hershberg); (9) Value-Added as a Classroom Diagnostic (Joel Giffin, Theodore Hershberg, and Claire Robertson-Kraft); (10) Value-Added Training (James W. Mahoney, Michael Thomas, and Jacquelyn Asbury); (11) Mentoring and New Teacher Induction (Ellen Moir and Patricia Martin); (12) Peer Assistance and Review and Mandatory Remediation (John Grossman and Claire Robertson-Kraft); and (13) Strategic Professional Development Review (Regis Anne Shields and Karen Hawley Miles). Part IV, "Piloting Overview", contains "Pilot Overview" by Theodore Hershberg and Claire Robertson-Kraft and the following chapters: (14) Communications (Sheppard Ranbom); and (15) Evaluation (Jeffery H. Marshall, Laura S. Hamilton, Julie A. Marsh, Daniel F. McCaffrey, and Brian M. Stecher). A foreword by Christopher T. Cross, a preface by Theodore Hershberg, and an index are included.
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Research Findings: A 9-month study served to evaluate the effectiveness of a pre-kindergarten number sense curriculum. Phase 1 of the intervention involved manipulative-, game-based number sense instruction; Phase 2, computer-aided mental-arithmetic training with the simplest sums. Eighty 4- and 5-year-olds at risk for school failure were randomly assigned to (a) structured discovery of the n+0/0+n=n pattern and the n+1/1+n = the number after n relation; (b) structured discovery with explicit instruction; (c) blocked practice of (zero, one, and number-after) items; and (d) haphazard practice. Analyses with a Wilcoxon signed-rank test of follow-up Test of Early Mathematics Ability–Third Edition and mental-arithmetic testing indicated that general achievement and fluency with n+0/0+n combinations improved significantly. Significant improvement for n+1/1+n combinations was evident only if success included slow or counted answers. Practice or Policy: Theoretical, methodological, and educational implications are discussed, including the need to “score in context” (e.g., consider responses to other items).