Humanizing computers for young children

Klein, P.S.
The current study describes an attempt to improve
children's analogical thinking through the use of a 'humanized'
computer program. This program was experimentally designed to
incorporate several basic features of what has been defined
theoretically and empirically as basic criteria of human mediation
to children. The objective of the study was to examine the
possibility of improving the educational benefits of using
computers in early childhood education. More specifically, it was
hypothesized that by introducing into a computer program basic
features of human mediation, it would be possible to raise
children's educational gains to the level of the gain achieved when
they work with an adult mediator. Subjects were 120 Israeli-born
kindergarten children between 4.5 and 6 years old. Despite no
differences in test scores between the two experimental groups a
higher frequency of 'stopping to think' (in contrast to trial and
error responses) was found in the experimental group working
with an adult as compared to the experimental group working

Klein, P.S., & Nir Gal, O. (1992).

Humanizing computers for young children: Effects of computerized mediation of analogical thinking in kindergartens. Journal of Computer Assissted Learning, 8 (4), 244-254. 

Last Updated Date : 17/02/2011