An Emerging Technology Report on Computational Toys in Early Childhood
Technology, Knowledge and Learning
NSF, Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL) 1842116
NSF, Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL)
This emerging technology report describes computational toys as tools for learning and building computational thinking (CT) skills in young children. We present both a framework to categorize computational toys as well as a separate framework to evaluate the toys’ effectiveness for teaching CT skills. We then apply our frameworks to thirty computational toys targeting children ages 5 and 6 years old. By identifying physical and ideational features of computational toys, educators and researchers will be able to apply our findings to practice and expand upon CT pedagogical research in young learners. Our future research goals include to investigate how CT skills can be observed and measured in early childhood education.
Hamilton, M., Clarke-Midura, J., Shumway, J.F. et al. An Emerging Technology Report on Computational Toys in Early Childhood. Tech Know Learn 25, 213–224 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10758-019-09423-8