Towards Learning and Instruction in Web 3.0 pp 289-301
The Learning Potentials of Number Blocks
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In this paper it is described how an interactive cubic user-configurable modular robotic system can be used to support learning about numbers and their pronunciation. The development is done in collaboration with a class of 7–8 year old children and their mathematics teacher. The tool is called Number Blocks, and it combines physical interaction, learning, and immediate feedback. Number Blocks support the children’s understanding of place value in the sense that it allows them to experiment with large numbers. We found that the blocks contributed to the learning process in several ways. The blocks combined mathematics and play, and they included and supported children at different academic levels. The auditory representation, especially the enhanced rhythmic effects of using speech synthesis, helped the children to pronounce large numbers. This creates a new context for learning mathematical aspects of number names and the place value system.