Examining Children’s Interactions with Mathematics Virtual Manipulatives on iPads: Proactive and Reactive Attribute Modification
Attributes are inherent traits in technology tools and their users. During user-tool interactions, attributes are continually modified to bring the tool and user into alignment so the user can complete a desired task. The purpose of this study was to examine patterns of attribute modification as fifth grade students interacted with the mathematics virtual manipulative iPad apps Motion Math: Zoom and DragonBox Algebra 12+. Three categories of attribute modification were identified: 1) reactive attribute modification; 2) unperceived attributes and opportunities for proactive modification; and 3) proactive modification. The findings have implications for designers of educational technology, for teachers who integrate technology into their classrooms, and for researchers of educational technology.