Collaborative meaning-making among preschoolers:developing emergent literacy through iPads

Li, Iva (2020) Collaborative meaning-making among preschoolers:developing emergent literacy through iPads. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

This study investigated young children’s emergent literacy practices, digital literacy skills, and their developing capacities to collaborate effectively, when supported by a literacy-learning iPad app, Aniland, in a preschool setting. I used a preschooler literacy app called Aniland, which I created with the Anilab team members and with which children can choose their own animal characters, read books, and play games. I also conducted optional, semi-structured interviews with teachers and parents. This study involved 29 children aged 3-4 years old, in a private preschool in Manhattan, New York, over a period of 10 weeks. With an ethnographic sensibility, I oversaw weekly interactions of 10-15 minutes between the children, as they used their iPads, to enrich my understanding of the cognitive and behavioural changes relevant to learning outcomes. In addition, to understand whether digital content may affect participants’ offline learning, I observed the children’s literacy activities in the classroom two or three times per week. I also conducted optional, semi-structured interviews with teachers and parents. For the data analysis, I applied a coding protocol to analyse the children’s learning outcomes in three dimensions: cognitive processing, social processing, and communication style adapted from the ‘analytical framework of peer group interaction’. The main findings of my study were as follows: (1) Children exhibited some improvements in literacy, including in graphemes, phonological awareness, phonemeto-grapheme correspondence, and orthographic knowledge, as they performed better over the observed time at selecting correct answers in the activity room; (2) children showed changes in social skills from dominance to collaboration and also showed instances of competition, tutoring, problem-solving, etc. over the observed time; and (3) children showed some connections between online and offline learning through extended play and conversations applying contents of the app in the classroom and, further, at home.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
ID Code:
142190
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
11 Mar 2020 09:20
Refereed?:
No
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
29 Sep 2020 07:14