Comparing Tablets (touchscreen devices) and PCs in Preschool Education: Testing Spatial Relationship Using Geometric Symbols of Traffic Signs
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Touchscreen devices have dramatically increased the accessibility and usage of technology, causing escalating usage, especially by very young children. Although the effects of screen time have been shown to produce serious (negatively effects on executive functioning, attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity) and even life-threatening consequences (due to radiation emission), technology can be beneficial if it is carefully used. Child-centered technology is especially designed to be as entertaining and captivating as possible. In order to examine how touchscreen devices, influence the acquisition of some important spatial concepts and provide exciting opportunities for learning new abilities, an experimental research was conducted aimed to determine whether the type of device used (computers or tablets) in the natural kindergarten environment influences young children performances. For the purpose of this work, geometrical symbols on traffic sig...ns were used to test spatial relationships – left/right, and longer/shorter relations. The test was carried out on a sample of 30 pre-school children. The results show significant differences between the two-testing media for identifying the longer vs. shorter relationships in favor of Tablet PC. Based on the results obtained, it can be concluded that the kinesthetic characteristics of tablets, the novelty factor and the opportunity to learn through playing, provide a positive approach to the early childhood education. Besides, the interactive environment created in a kindergarten by using tablets contributes to introduce new teaching methods which are expected to amplify the pedagogical capacity, changing the way of spatial concepts acquisition, as well as, children traffic education take place within.
Keywords:Touchscreen devices / Testing / Education / Preschool children / Traffic signs
Source:IETI Transactions on Ergonomics and Safety, 2018, 2, 1, 35-41
- International Engineering and Technology Institute (IETI)