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The role of iPads in pre-school children’s mark making development

Price, S; Jewitt, C; Crescenzi Lanna, L; (2015) The role of iPads in pre-school children’s mark making development. Computers and Education , 87 pp. 131-141. 10.1016/j.compedu.2015.04.003. Green open access

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Abstract

The increased acquisition of touch-screen technologies, such as tablet computers, in both homes and schools raises important questions about their role for very young children's learning and development. Their inherent touch-based interaction offers new opportunities for mark making practices, which are linked to literacy development, through the emergent process of using marks as symbolic representation. This paper reports a comparative study of touch-based interaction using a tablet computer versus traditional physical paint and paper. Children aged 2–3 years engaged in a free finger painting activity and colouring in activity in both paper and digital environments. Video data of their interactions was used to develop a coding scheme for analyzing touch-based interaction, providing insight into how the use of fingers and hands differed in each environment, the different types and qualities of touch that were engendered, and the composition of the final paintings produced. Findings show that while the tablet computer limited the number of fingers used for interaction, its material affordances supported speed and continuity, which led to more mark making, and different ‘scales’ of mark making extending the range of mark making practices. At the same time it limited the sensory experience of physical paint and resulted in more uniform final compositions. The findings are discussed in terms of shaping young children's mark making, the implications of the use of touch screen technologies in literacy development for educational practitioners and technology design, and key future research directions.

Type: Article
Title: The role of iPads in pre-school children’s mark making development
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.compedu.2015.04.003
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2015.04.003
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. This manuscript is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licenses are available at http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0. Access may be initially restricted by the publisher.
Keywords: iPads; Mark making; Finger painting; Pre-school; Children
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1474779
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