This paper explores the potential for using metaphors to enable two and three year old children to interact independently with a computer earlier than is traditionally accepted. They need appropriate cognitive skills, the development of which is dependent on the provision of suitable activities; they need adequately developed physical skills to interact with the hardware and necessary knowledge of expected behaviours for interaction. The authors argue that such expectations can be conveyed via the use of metaphors and will employ a purpose-built multimedia product Television Metaphor (TVM) as an example in order to support their discussion. As the TVM software has hitherto demonstrated, age appropriate metaphors using source domains familiar to young children can guide children in the requisite interactions for independent computer use. TVM was created to contextualise theoretical discussions into interface design and to synthesise the ensuing analysis into an applied form.
Field of Research
130306 Educational Technology and Computing
Socio Economic Objective
970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
HERDC Research category
C3 Non-refereed articles in a professional journal
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