Impact of Classroom Computer Availability on Preschoolersâ€™ Social Interactions
AbstractDespite increases in computer availability in the classroom, very little data exists on computer availability and its use in Head Start classrooms. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the impact of availability of computers on urban preschoolersâ€™ naturally occurring social interactions in Head Start classrooms across one school year. The sample consisted of 66, predominantly African American, children in four urban, Head Start classrooms. A quasi-experimental design was employed in which three classrooms had computers, while one classroom served as the control. Naturally occurring social interactions were observed during free-play sessions over an 8-month period. Hierarchical linear modeling was used to analyze differences in social interactions across classrooms and school year. Results suggest that classroom computer availability may increase the interactive behavior of preschoolers. Results suggest that investing resources into a computer center in the Head Start classroom can have a positive effect on social development.
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