Interactivity, Game Creation, Design, Learning, and Innovation. 6th International Conference, ArtsIT 2017, and Second International Conference, DLI 2017, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, October 30–31, 2017, Proceedings

Research Article

Blocks as Symbolic Tools for Children’s Playful Collaboration

  • @INPROCEEDINGS{10.1007/978-3-319-76908-0_40,
        author={Cristina Sylla and Eva Brooks and Lisa T\'{y}mmler},
        title={Blocks as Symbolic Tools for Children’s Playful Collaboration},
        proceedings={Interactivity, Game Creation, Design, Learning, and Innovation. 6th International Conference, ArtsIT 2017, and Second International Conference, DLI 2017, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, October 30--31, 2017, Proceedings},
        proceedings_a={ARTSIT \& DLI},
        year={2018},
        month={3},
        keywords={Children Digital manipulatives Co-discovery analysis Collaboration Designs for play and learning Pedagogy},
        doi={10.1007/978-3-319-76908-0_40}
    }
    
  • Cristina Sylla
    Eva Brooks
    Lisa Tümmler
    Year: 2018
    Blocks as Symbolic Tools for Children’s Playful Collaboration
    ARTSIT & DLI
    Springer
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-76908-0_40
Cristina Sylla1,*, Eva Brooks2,*, Lisa Tümmler3,*
  • 1: University of Minho
  • 2: Aalborg University
  • 3: Otto-Von-Guericke-University Magdeburg
*Contact email: sylla@engagelab.org, eb@learning.aau.dk, lisatuemmler@me.com

Abstract

This paper reports on two intervention studies conducted in two Danish kindergartens where a Digital Manipulative (DM) was investigated in relation to children’s interactions, experiences and playful processes. The DM, in the form of physical blocks was developed following a user-centred design approach. Research indicated how children’s interaction with the physical blocks generated a democratic collaboration between their peers, which triggered engagement and sustained children’s attention for a long time. Children’s play with the blocks unfolded two levels of articulation; one level where they used the blocks to create visual narratives and a second level where they used the blocks as construction material. This double function was analysed as fostering playful learning processes indicating that the design conveyed potentials to function as a pedagogical resource.