Software for Young Children
and Programmed Learning Software
Open-ended means that
learners benefit from discovering rather than being told. Software of
this type gives children the opportunity to explore and discover, make
choices, and then find out the impact of their decisions. Children make
real choices, rather than selecting from a limited set of unimportant
options. For instance, they decide what to create in a picture, how
to end a story, or in what direction to take their inquiry.
by experiencing, and so need to be interactive with the computer.
Appropriate software should help children reflect on what they already
software encourages wondering and hypothesizing, problem solving,
collaboration, motivation, and a more positive attitude toward learning.
It is also associated with gains in measures of intelligence and nonverbal
learning or drill-and-practice software resembles electronic worksheets
or flashcards. Non-developmental software encourages more competitive
behavior, and can discourage creativity and exchange of ideas. Such
programs should be used for limited amounts of time, not as the major
focus of computer use in the curriculum.