Are mobile games good for preschoolers? Angry Birds and science learning in a group of 5-years old

ID: 49791 Type: Full Paper
  1. Christothea Herodotou, The Open University UK, United Kingdom

Tuesday, November 15 11:45 AM-12:15 PM Location: Edison C View on map

Presider: Christothea Herodotou, United States

Abstract: This paper reports on the case study of 18 pre-schoolers 5 years old and their use of the mobile game Angry Birds. The game was played repeatedly for seven days with the aim to capture its impact on science learning and understanding. Data were collected through pre/posttests, screen recordings, questionnaires, and interviews. Findings indicate a better understanding of how force affects motion, yet not angle, and prediction of motion as a parabola, after playing the game. Communication instances and interviews revealed that children developed an understanding of cause and effect relationships during gaming, nonetheless this understanding was poorly verbalized and explained. A discrepancy was also observed between game performance and explicit judgements about causal relationships. It is proposed that, in young ages learning from gaming is less intuitive; it might be more beneficial if it is accompanied by instruction and design scaffolds to make learning visible and more explicit.

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