Investigating mental representations in children interacting with small mobile robots

Abstract : This research aimed at investigating the acquisition of comprehension of a robotic system in school age children by using two different methods: concept maps and interviews. We demonstrated that concept maps are an important instrument of verification of knowledge, offering the possibility to graphically re-examine the expressed knowledge, and training children to decompose a problem (analysis) and re-compose it in a more structured way (synthesis). The interviews confirmed the subjects' ability to apply the acquired technological concepts to different contexts, showing not only a deep comprehension of the functioning of the Lego MindStorms kit, but also the reorganisation of knowledge, a critical reflection on the contents, and therefore the restructuring of mental models.
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Eleonora Bilotta, Lorella Gabriele, Rocco Servidio, Assunta Tavernise. Investigating mental representations in children interacting with small mobile robots. Conference ICL2007, September 26 -28, 2007, 2007, Villach, Austria. 15 p. ⟨hal-00197266⟩

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