Early math learning with tablet pc's: the role of action
Dejonckheere, Peter Desoete, Annemie Haeck, Birgit Ghyselinck, Kimberly Hillaert, Kevin Smellinckx, Marieke Coppenolle, Kathleen
BAPS location:Leuven date:27-05-2014
In the present study an experiment was conducted in which small groups of 4-6 year old children played with a simple numerical board game on a tablet computer for four 15-minute sessions. Children’s hand and finger movements were manipulated during instruction in three different conditions. In the first condition, children could freely jump between numbers on the number line. In a second group, children could only point to where a particular number had to be located; jumping with hands and fingers was not encouraged. Finally, a third group played non-mathematical games, such as puzzling and drawing. Results revealed that the linearity of number line estimations and the knowledge of numerical magnitude in a pretest and a posttest significantly increased in both groups that received a math intervention. However, only children who used maximal action showed the highest accuracy in their estimations. These results indicate that for early math learning, the way action properties are represented in digital tools play a causal role in learning. Results were discussed in the context of embodied cognition and action.