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Happy to connect
Paolo Ferri
Associate Professor
Technology of education
University of Milan Bicocca
University Milano-Bicocca Department of Educational Science and Early Childhood Studies
[email protected]
Happy to connect
Learning from Children how to use ITC: the project
“Children and Computer” and “Bambino autore”
Research team: Susanna Mantovani, Paolo Ferri, Chiara Bove,
Donata. Ripamonti, Anna Poli, Valentina Garzia
[email protected]
The Research Project “Children and
Computer” University Milano-Bicocca
We are leading from 2004 the “Children and Computer”
research project coordinated by Professor Susanna
Mantovani and Paolo Ferri
The design of research the
methods and the first findings
are published in the book
Susanna Mantovani,
Paolo Ferri, Bambini
e computer, RCS Etas, Milano 2006, pp. 212
Our research question are:
 This project has the following goals
 exploring the way the children of pre-school and school age (3-6-10 years old) begin to use
new digital technologies in educational contexts (family and school);
 Exploring teachers’ and parents’ ideas and representations with regard to the use of computers, at
home and in preschools, and to their educational roles;
 Exploring the way teachers interact with children in digital augmented space of learning
 Exploring the use of a co-projected (with teachers, and children) LCMS tool for cooperative
learning www.bambinoautore.it
 observing if/how the ICT introduce changes in interaction between children, teachers inside
and outside the classrooms
 Working out a methodological approach for the study of these issues in early childhood settings and
for eliciting and making explicit the educational models (K10);
 developing training materials based on this approach. with computers in the early years (K10);
 Outlining some patterns for the development of “new” media education for teachers and schools
The methodology adopted is "Ethnographic-Visual Dialogical“
mix qualitative research tools (observations and interviews) in family and
in the school with Ethno-anthropological research
 use of video (videotaped in family and in schools) as stimulus for the
focus groups
Direct observation
Discussion of observative highlights in focus groups to build and validate
the first observative data through a dialogic and narrative method
(Fabbri, Grassilli, 2003, Demetrio, 2003).
We use also some interviews to parents and teachers in order to gather
information about hypothesis and reasons of informatic tools and about
personal educational experience. With the aim to establish comparison
and sharing with teachers and parents on collected material.
We use SES and specifc questionnaries data to valide the qualitative
output of the field research
A video sample of our observation
The LCMS Bambini autore
Research out-put
 new method of analysis to understand which is the best way for a “new media
education”. The best approach for Children and teacher to use computer and ICT
technology in education;
 The way to let digital tools (Hardware and software) be approachable for children of
different ages. the keyboard, the mouse, the screen. It's also important to study the best
way to project the shape of these tools;
 good practices to introduce children to usage of cooperative tools for on line
communication (LCMS docebo-bambino autore), in order to promote new skills and new
media educational competence boths in communicative and learning fields;
 good practices to introduce children to usage of cooperative tools for on line
 The cooperative developing of a new open source platform especially designed for
children and teachers (Bambino Autore-Docebo) docebo.lib.unimib.it
Hints from our observation and reasearch
(K3/10) for NML learner meeting
Emergent phenomena:
New paths of cooperative learning with computers
Multiple intelligence at work (Gardner, 1973) trough multimedia device:
Emphasis on video and graphical and musical intelligence. Exit from “only
alphabetic” paradigm in learning and teaching (Bolter Grusin, 1999)
A intriguing and tricky use "grasshopper mind“ (Papert 1994): Bite and run. Risk
and opportunities
A new mediated way to “construct” and share individually and socially
knowledge a learning. A new way to construct the word (Goodmann, 1978)
through media (user generated content, mobile phone video, sms, vsm –.
Some open answers to the OCDE questions and NML Project:
our contribution to this meeting
 We can say that the use of ICT, in our view, changes the cognitive skills of
digital native (children and young people - NML) in many way:
 stressing a multitasking use of media. Our research parents and teachers focus
group results testify they strongly agree with this idea. Their children use a
multitasking approach in gaming, playing and learning. Sometimes they feel this
difference with fear they are not able to act in this way.
 Cooperative learning is the way children adopt also when they are very young: 36 to approach computers and ICT, as our observation testified, stay very rarely
alone when they use a computer in a classroom.
 On-line communication, especially instant messaging, sms ecc. are very spread
pattern of use ICT (mobile phone Instant messaging) also in the 6-10 range of
age. In Italy, particularly the use of mobile phone is a tools used by nearly all
children both to communicate with peer (mostly in a written way - SMS-) and
with parents (voice communication).
Some open answers to the OCDE questions
and NML Project: our contribution to this meeting
 In Italy parents use mobile phone with children not only for communicate but also
as control/care tool. Mobile phone, in Italy has became a mediated tool for
parental care. In school the mobile phone is forbidden and teacher are very
concerned about the children use of such a technological tool. In the same way
they are very concerned about video game and video User Generated Content.
 The child at home learn from parents using a “modelling” style of learnig, at
school this style is very rarely adopted by the teacher. At school prevails an
“istructional” and traditional way to teach new media.
In our view children often dislike educational software because these
software are fare more worst designed and low budget than video game
and commercial
 In Italy, children form extra-European countries are particularly found in ICT
because ICT (Skype at the internet café, e-mail ecc.) is useful for them to keep in
touch with parents. It can help their integration in school because they have an
excellence skill to share with pairs and teachers,web site on the Internet
Other hints for NML Project
 Other hints from our qualitative research are:
 In Italy the use of ICT is a domestic phenomenon, the use in school is rare
and only a few days per month. There’s in fact a big divide between the
family and social appropriation of ICT and the schools use (both primary
and secondary)
 In Italy gender issues are fundamental, particularly in the early childhood
years. Teachers in primary school are mostly fifthies born female (the
“baby boomers” generation). They, as our focus group pointed out, learn
technology mostly from the romantic partners. In the same way they
perceive technology as male, mechanical and alien. That’s why they are
very resistant to introduce ICT with kids and female world. They are mostly
scared computer can transform kids in machines
 From the point of view of educational innovation, we point out is not a tech
issues but a cultural issue. In training teachers to new tech is far more
important investigate which kind of prejudices they have on technology
than train them about technological issues. Understanding and share the
meaning of resistances and prejudice is very important for over come them
Contribution to the NML survey of University Milan Bicocca
Interdisciplinary research team
 Sharing the results of our research
 Contribution to the workshops and meetings
 Partecipation the design of the methodology of the survey
 Partecipation in defininig the case study
 (www.bambinoautore.it)
 Paretecipation in defininig new methods and learning paths for
 Participation to the reporting and dissemination phase
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