Debugging in Programming as a Multimodal Practice in Early Childhood Education Settings
How can debugging as part of teaching and learning programming be understood as multimodal learning?
2. Programming in Early Ages
3. Theoretical Framework
4. Study Settings
4.1. Study Context and Design
4.2. Data Collection
4.3. Analysis Process
4.4. Transcription Process
4.5. Ethical Considerations
5.1. Children Learning Programming—General Observations on Debugging Practice
5.2. Debugging in Practice
- We [should put on the underpants first.
- [Tove bends over as she prepares to lay down a new card]
- [Anders starts to bend towards the middle of the ring]
- [sits back up
- [Should we take the underpants first?
- Why do you think so?
- When I’m [at home, I always take on the underpants first.
- [continues to bend towards the middle of the ring
- If we start the robot and he gets dressed—will he get all the clothes?
- Will he?
- So you usually have [hat, t-shirt, underpants] first, then the trousers and then
- [the panties?
- [claps her thighs
- Child 1:
- I usually put on my panties first.
- Aaa, [exactly
- [makes a gesture towards the child
- Child 2:
- I usually put on my underpants first.
- I think we’ll do like [this
- [bends over, places the panties next to the underpants
- Because this depends on whether you are a girl and have panties, or if you are a boy
- and wear underpants. So, we can have them in the same place, then we will take the
- Child 3:
- I usually put it [there!
- [the child gets up and goes forward to point at the place in the card
- sequence where the socks should be
- So before the [shoes
- [takes the socks card in order to move i
- [the child still stands there, points towards where the card should be
- [Socks there!
- You can place it here
- [No, [there
- [again points at the same place as before
- We need to simply switch [places
- [switches the places so that the socks end up where the
- child wanted them
- (Whistling a bit) Right at that one! (Pointing at the bomb)
- [Pointing with her hand to the other direction up to the same number five
- [I want to go like that
- [Can you go there?
- [Pointing at a square with a bomb
- [Pulling back her hand and pointing at the starting square
- So now you’ll have to rethink
- No that makes it very hard [at the bomb
- [pointing at the square with the bomb
- [Frida makes a grimace towards Oskar
- You will hit the [bomb
- [takes his hand down and looks at the bomb
- You needed a turn, you ne[eded (whispering) a turn
- [that one?
- [looking at Annika
- [Lifts her hand as to say stop to the Bluebot
- [Lifts her hands to the Bluebot as to take it
- [Laughs nervously
- [Puts her hand to her mouth and putting her hand over her mouth
- [Looks at Annika
6. Discussion and Conclusions
- The analysis unfolds communication as multimodal, and not putting language in the center or as the ‘driving force’ for communication and learning. This is important for the teacher to keep in mind both when planning and conducting teaching. Knowledge on how communication is multimodally practiced gives teachers new opportunities to trust that learning can take place also without written or spoken language.
- Several programming related practices and concepts can be used and described in ECE. For instance, children in our examples were dealing with instructions, sequences and conditionals. The children in the second case also exhibited a pair programming like approach. The teachers, however, did not use programming terminology in the situations. By using the correct terms, preschool activities could play an important role in conceptualizing programming already at an early age. This, naturally, requires professional development for the teachers, as the overwhelming majority has no previous programming background.
- In order for children to find their own errors and thereby practice, for instance, their logical thinking skills, teachers should not intervene “too soon” when they realize that a program will not work. Programming is about “learning by doing”, and making mistakes is an important part of this process.
Conflicts of Interest
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Heikkilä, M.; Mannila, L. Debugging in Programming as a Multimodal Practice in Early Childhood Education Settings. Multimodal Technol. Interact. 2018, 2, 42. https://doi.org/10.3390/mti2030042
Heikkilä M, Mannila L. Debugging in Programming as a Multimodal Practice in Early Childhood Education Settings. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction. 2018; 2(3):42. https://doi.org/10.3390/mti2030042Chicago/Turabian Style
Heikkilä, Mia, and Linda Mannila. 2018. "Debugging in Programming as a Multimodal Practice in Early Childhood Education Settings" Multimodal Technologies and Interaction 2, no. 3: 42. https://doi.org/10.3390/mti2030042