Learning Beyond the Screen: Assessing the Impact of Reflective Artificial Intelligence Technology on the Development of Emergent Literacy Skills
AbstractEarly childhood educators are continuously challenged to provide engaging learning experiences, especially when related to the development of early literacy skills. Play is a beneficial, natural, and engaging strategy for early literacy intervention, but as children become more technologically adept, merging play-based and technological interventions becomes not just plausible, but integral in creating socially-engaging and authentic experiences. This study explores a new genre of app that centers on this merger, reflective artificial intelligence technology (RAIT) – specifically, tablet-based RAIT apps. Using the tablet’s built-in camera, RAIT apps integrate feedback from physical manipulatives into an onscreen app, ostensibly shifting the focus away from the tablet’s screen, back into the physical environment. This mixed-methods study seeks to compare the use of RAIT apps and traditional play-based interventions as tools for developing emergent literacy skills.