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The Effects Of Peer Interactions On The Development Of Technological Fluency In An Early Childhood Robotics Learning Environment

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

K-8 Engineering & Access

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1281.1 - 10.1281.8



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Paper Authors

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Kevin Staszowski

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Effects of Peer Interactions on the Development of Technological Fluency in an Early-Childhood, Robotic Learning Environment Kevin J. Staszowski, Marina Bers

Tufts University/Tufts University


Students interact in a classroom environment in a daily basis – interacting with teachers, classmates, and even with technology. The effects that these peer interactions within the educational setting have been extensively studied in the field of education over the past 20 years and have been shown to improve students self-esteem and attitude towards the educational process.7 Beyond these general improvements in students opinions on education and toward themselves, cooperative learning -the collaboration between peers to better understand unfamiliar topics - has been shown to positively influence a student development reading strategies6, computational skills in mathematics9, and a conceptual understanding of physics within education settings4. As such, the understanding of peer interactions has played an important role in the way curriculum is developed for the established fields of education. With the relatively recent interest in expanding the educational curriculum frameworks to include concepts of engineering and technology, educators are looking for effective methods of addressing these new curriculum changes. However, engineering concepts are topics that are typically unfamiliar to teachers and few teacher have experience using educational technology related to engineering, like Lego Robolab program.2 The lack of acquaintance with engineering concepts and technology lead many educators to developing this curriculum for their classroom. One possible education aid that these educators might encourage, based on its record in advancing student progress in other disciplines, is cooperative learning within their students. Little research exist that indicates what type of effect or even what type of interactions occur within a technological learning environment using engineering-based curriculum. The purpose of this study is to explore that question by determining the frequencies and effects of the peer interactions that occurred within an early-childhood robotic learning environment. Specifically, which of the underling concepts of the curriculum were most often used as the foundation of peer-interactions and how did those interactions appear to effect the children’s understanding of engineering methods and processes.


The study was conducted as part of a larger research study on the interactions between culture, technology, and family-member/child interactions. This larger study, Project Interactions, was a conceptual modification of a research project conducted by Bers and Urrea (2002) entitled Con-science.3 Con-science studied the effect of programmable Lego technology and parent-child interactions on the understanding of Jewish Culture in Argentina. Project

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005 America Society of Engineering Education

Staszowski, K. (2005, June), The Effects Of Peer Interactions On The Development Of Technological Fluency In An Early Childhood Robotics Learning Environment Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14380

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