Computer-Mediated Communication in Primary Education: An Overview and a Research Approach Example

Computer-Mediated Communication in Primary Education: An Overview and a Research Approach Example

Tharrenos Bratitsis (University of Western Macedonia, Greece) and Marina Kandroudi (University of Western Macedonia, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6102-8.ch006

Abstract

This chapter builds upon a previously published study in the International Journal of eCollaboration regarding the exploitation of asynchronous discussions in Primary Education. The originating point of reference was the fact that Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) tools are being exploited in various sectors, including education. Especially in education, numerous studies can be found in the literature, spanning the past 30 years. Most of these studies concern adult learners in tertiary and continuing education. In addition, approaches regarding secondary education have arisen in the past 10-15 years. Where Primary Education is concerned, only a few CMC-based research applications can exist. This chapter presents all these studies in an attempt to highlight the dynamics of CMC in Primary Education. As established in the literature, communication is directly connected to argumentation, thinking, and consequently, to learning. Moreover, a detailed research study is presented, serving as an example of educational design in Primary School settings, fully utilizing CMC, asynchronous discussions in particular.
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Theoretical Background

One of the core issues in education is that of learning and sustaining students’ progress (Kress, 2004). In fact, learning is connected with Critical Thinking which is related to dialogue, educational discussions and students’ writings. Critical thinking is described as the intellectual and emotional activity through which a person evaluates the reliability of the perceived information (Matsaggouras, 2002). Glaser (1941) proposed three elements which are involved with the ability to think critically:

  • 1.

    An attitude of being disposed to consider in a thoughtful way the problems and subjects that come within the range of one's experiences.

  • 2.

    Knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning.

  • 3.

    Some skill in applying those methods.

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