Best Paper Award for the 6th International Conference on Learning and Collaboration Technologies, in the context of HCI International 2019, 16-31 July 2019, Orlando, FL, USA
Certificate for Best Paper Award of the 6th International Conference on Learning and Collaboration Technologies
Katriina Heljakka (University of Turku, Finland)
and Pirita Ihamäki (Prizztech Ltd., Finland)
for the paper entitled
"Ready, Steady, Move! Coding Toys, Preschoolers, and Mobile Playful Learning"
Presented in the context of
HCI International 2019
16-31 July 2019, Orlando, FL, USA
"This paper introduces a study focusing on preschool children’s employment of coding toys as a part of their daily play activities. Twenty preschoolers, aged 5–6 years, and their preschool teachers participated in a three-month study of playful learning and the STEM topic of coding. The main interest was to explore how preschoolers explore, utilize, and challenge the hybrid play affordances of the Dash robot, in relation to coding exercises, and how their teachers concurrently expanded their own knowledge of how a contemporary smart toy can support the learning of 21st-century skills. We approached this two-part research question through a multimethod approach, including diary methods, thematic teacher interviews, and an analysis of preschoolers’ own videos of their play sessions. The findings of our study highlight the mobility aspect of the playful learning of coding with Dash. Our study also shows how preschoolers quickly learned to build obstacle courses for Dash by coding them with an app on an iPad, and how the movement of the toy inspired the preschoolers to come up with new play ideas, incorporating themselves as players. In light of these findings, the authors suggest that coding toys, such as Dash, can be evaluated from the perspective of mobile playful learning, which centers around the use of interactive, smart, and mobile toys. Our study also shows that these toys playfully invite and encourage young learners to physical activity while they learn the logic and skills related to coding. "
The full paper is available through SpringerLink, provided that you have proper access rights.