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Children as computer users: the case of collaborative learning

Computers & Education Volume 30, Number 3, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


A modern enthusiasm for pupils to learn collaboratively within early education is identified. It is shown that educational practice is in harmony with theories of learning promoted by developmental psychologists and also with studies of classroom interventions evaluating cooperative learning regimes. However, observations of children's spontaneous interactions during routine small group work imply that the quality of collaboration is typically rather poor. This paper considers whether the cultivation of true collaborative learning is a realistic ambition with very young children. An analysis of the social dynamic at the heart of this form of learning suggests that it is well within the reach of children as a form of social exchange. However, it may be hard for them to exercise that dynamic under the particular formats demanded of schooled problem solving. It is argued that new technology offers a special potential for supporting the development of collaborative learning in early education. However, the scope of the resourcing required extends beyond meeting the traditional formats of circumscribed group work: designers for this style of learning need to address collaboration managed as a broader communal concern within the very fabric of educational settings.


Crook, C. (1998). Children as computer users: the case of collaborative learning. Computers & Education, 30(3), 237-247. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved March 25, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 30, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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