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Review and Discussion of Children’s Conceptions of Computers

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Today’s children grow up surrounded by computers. They observe them, interact with them and, as a consequence, start forming conceptions of how they work and what they can do. Any constructivist approach to learning requires that we gain an understanding of such preconceived ideas and beliefs in order to use computers as learning tools in an effective and informed manner. In this paper, we present five such conceptions that children reportedly form about computers, based on an interdisciplinary literature review. We then evaluate how persistent these conceptions appear to be over time and in light of new technological developments. Finally, we discuss the relevance and implications of our findings for education in the contexts of conceptual pluralism and conceptual categorisation.

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Correspondence to Michael T. Rücker.

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Rücker, M.T., Pinkwart, N. Review and Discussion of Children’s Conceptions of Computers. J Sci Educ Technol 25, 274–283 (2016).

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