Designing Children’s Software to Ensure Productive Interactivity through Collaboration in the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)
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Luckin, R. (2001). Designing Children’s Software to Ensure Productive Interactivity through Collaboration in the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). Information Technology in Childhood Education Annual, 2001(1), 57-85. Norfolk, VA: AACE.
Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/8501.
Information Technology in Childhood Education Annual
Volume 2001, Issue 1, 2001
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE) Norfolk, VA
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In this article the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) is considered as the foundation for a software design frame-work. The issues of interactivity and collaboration are the fo-cus of our interpretation of Vygotsky's work for application to the software design process. The Ecolab is a piece of edu-cational software developed using this Vygotskian design framework. It is aimed at 10 and 11-year old children learn-ing about Ecology and has been evaluated with a class of such learners. The results of this evaluation are discussed in terms of the interactions and collaborations children experi-enced and in the light of the learning gains they made while using the software. It was concluded that the ZPD is a useful theoretical construct for educational software design, but that creating the most effective collaborative interactions between software and the computers is complex and individual to each learner. In addition, children were not effective at set-ting themselves challenging tasks or in seeking appropriate assistance. To be successful such software therefore needs to embody flexible and fadable scaffolding and either maintain or expect as input, sufficient information about the individual learner to offer them appropriately challenging activities.
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