Design of Distributed Collaborative Activities for Young Children related to Map Use and Construction

I. Ioannidou and A. Dimitracopoulou (Greece)


Wireless communication, GPS, collaboration, distributed learning activities, young children, map construction


One of the effects of recent theories on learning is not only to analyze learn ing processes but also to inspire for new learning activities. The design of learning activities related to map use and construction for young students is mainly based on `an idea' derived from epistemological analysis and analysis of cognitive difficulties of individuals using maps. This analysis led to re-attribute to the map its communicative status, through meaningful activities. The design rationale of the proposed learning activities apply on the assumption that the cognitive operation of an individual for instance to read a map (2D symbolic representation) and use it to `move' in the real space (3D representation), could be distributed over two group of individuals communicating each other while working in one of the two representational modes. For this purpose a technology based learning environment was designed, permitting children 6 years old to be implicated in collaborative settings as distributed cognitive activities related to maps. The activities are based on settings of two teams communicating via walky-talky: one team wanders around a real specific space carrying a GPS device, while the other team observes the exact path-trail traveled by the rover team, in front of their workstation running cartography tools. This paper is focused on the design of these learning activities, as well as on the collaborative settings specifications.

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