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The Validity of Technologies in Education: A Survey of Early Childhood Education Developmental Tools

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

First Year Computing Topics

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

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Paper Authors


Lauren E. Johnson The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

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Lauren E. Johnson is an Electrical Engineering masters’ student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. She received her AS degree at Central Piedmont Community College and BS in Computer Engineering from UNC Charlotte. She has been a teaching assistant for electrical and computer engineering courses at both of her schools of attendance. Such courses include Introduction to Engineering, Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering, Logic Systems I, and Electronics Laboratory. Her passions and research interests include robotics, education, cognitive science, early childhood education developmental tools, adaptive and assistive technologies for developmentally disabled persons, and visualization research.

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Nabila A. Bousaba University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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Nabila (Nan) BouSaba is a faculty associate with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte since 2008; she is the senior design instructor for the department, courses taught include Basic Circuit for non- majors, and Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship course at UNC Charlotte. Nan Earned her BS and Master Degrees in Electrical Engineering (1982, 1986) from North Carolina Agricultural &Technical State University. She mentored Departmental sponsored projects such as UNCC Parking team, IEEE Hardware competition teams, industry sponsored projects from Microsoft and EPRI, NASA teams and special Innovation and Entrepreneurship teams. She published and presented papers in ASEE conferences in June 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014 and 2015. She published papers in IEEE conference 2013, 2014 and 2015. Prior to her current position at UNC- Charlotte, she worked for IBM (15 years) and Solectron (8 years) in the area of test development and management.

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James M. Conrad University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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James M. Conrad received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Illinois, Urbana, and his master’s and doctorate degrees in computer engineering from North Carolina State University. He is currently a professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has served as an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas and as an instructor at North Carolina State University. He has also worked at IBM in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and Houston, Texas; at Ericsson/Sony Ericsson in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina; and at BPM Technology in Greenville, South Carolina. Dr. Conrad is a Professional Engineer, Senior Member of the IEEE and a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP). He is the author of numerous books, book chapters, journal articles, and conference papers in the areas of embedded systems, robotics, parallel processing, and engineering education.

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Technology has proven to be effective and efficient in many aspects of life and learning. However, technology has also proven to inhibit the enhancement of developmental growth in certain circumstances with some audiences. This paper approaches the various applications of technologies in educational settings and reviews their effectiveness as learning tools in the area of early childhood – birth through age eight. Education developmental tools include: adaptive and assistive technologies, tablets, smartphone applications, computer software, robotic toys, and educational videos.

Surveys and studies of technology in early childhood required observing tools used in the broad areas of educational settings, which include the classroom and home environments. Analyzing these observations, along with previous studies and techniques, help indicate the difference between educational tools which were developmentally appropriate and based on research, versus those that were not. Final reviews of each system will be given on which forms of technologies are helpful or harmful, and effective or ineffective to specific audiences. We conclude with recommendations for studies investigating engineering for developing educational tools that are cognitively appropriate.

Johnson, L. E., & Bousaba, N. A., & Conrad, J. M. (2017, June), The Validity of Technologies in Education: A Survey of Early Childhood Education Developmental Tools Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29020

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