The importance of technology in supporting learning is exemplified by its role in promoting development of higher order skills such as critical thinking, analysis and inquiry which are of significant value to science learning (Roschelle, 2001). This study will analyse two sets of observations of relevance to young children’s science and technology learning and discuss them based on literature.
The first case analysed is an observation of a group of children being introduced to and playing a computer-based game known as Trap the Cat. A brief overview of the game indicates that the player tries to encircle a cat on an area of circles without letting it get out while the cat (computer-controlled) seeks to get out. The goal of the player is to entirely surround the cat by clicking on the circle while the cat’s goal is to move to the edges. While the children were playing this game, a number of observations of relevance to science and technology education were discerned. First, the children were very inquisitive; their interest and attention in the game was high, listening to the introduction and observing a demonstration of how to play the game. Another element of importance is self-learning, where the children were observed to learn and perform new skills and tactics not covered in the introduction as they played the game repeatedly.
A discussion of this case establishes several important aspects of children’s learning that can be built on in science education. First, the highly inquisitive nature of children to occurrences around them is of high value to science. According to Aune (2008), one of the basics of science is the inquiry that sparks a scientist’s interest in observation and thus the generation of knowledge from the world. This can be built upon among children to promote science education. Another aspect is the constructivism observed among children; constructivism and is an important tool in science education ...
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Another key consideration is that the current generation of children is growing up in a technological world which makes it likely that their future lifestyles and employment will be based on technology (Charlesworth and Lind, 2010; Taylor, et al., 2011). Science and technology is taking centre-stage in contemporary society as evidenced by strides and advances made in both fields, which thus places emphasis on getting it right for children at an early age.
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