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Enhance the Cognitive Flexibility of Children by Using Computers

by: Kristina Dems ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 5/25/2012 • Leave a comment

The cognitive flexibility theory is constructed to mainly support using interactive technology. With the help of technology, specifically computers, children are able to adapt to radically changing environments.

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    Computers and Cognitive Flexibility of Children

    Children playing computer Children tend to see things in a black and white perspective. Their perception of what is real is based on what they see, hear and feel. Children are very literal and always stick on a more predictable and inflexible routines and rules. When a child faces a very different result to what he or she is used to, the child will feel lost and uncomfortable.

    This is the reason why traditional instructors uses a linear model when presenting information to children. There is nothing wrong with this approach. This is very helpful especially when teaching simple and structured information. However, as children grow old, information are getting more difficult. For this reason, as children’s cognitive ability develops, the transferring of information should yield to a better understanding of concepts in order for them to adjust and develop a sense of cognitive flexibility. This article will discuss the relationship of computers and cognitive flexibility of children.

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    Cognitive Flexibility Theory

    The Cognitive Flexibility Theory centers its attention on the nature of transferring knowledge in difficult and complex structured areas. In general, cognitive flexibility is described as the ability of a person to transfer or restructure his or her knowledge into different and unique situations to adapt to changing situations or events. By attaining this ability, children can easily use the concepts or information they have learned when dealing with problems and complex situations.

    Since the Cognitive Flexibility Theory is mainly concerned with the transferring of information and ability beyond a child’s initial learning condition, it suggest that the teaching environment must be flexible, in which the concepts or information to be and learned must be presented in a variety of different ways.

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    Fostering Cognitive Flexibility through Computers

    Photo Courtesy of Morguefile.com Another assumption of the Cognitive Flexibility Theory is that the way children are taught plays a vital role in developing cognitive flexibility skills. There are various ways on how a teacher can do this. By far, the most effective means of doing it is by means of computers.

    As we enter the dawn of modern age, computers have played a significant role in helping children develop various skills. Because of its capacity to provide variability, computers are ideal for producing flexible teaching environment. It can provide flexible means of presenting ill-structured domains in order to assist children in exploring multiple perspectives on a particular concept.

    You can start by introducing the children to the 10 Best Free Educational Game Sites.

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    Hypertext as a Means of Fostering Cognitive Flexibility

    Hypertext systems are the most popular way of providing a multi-dimensional means of teaching children cognitive flexibility. It allows the presentation of complex ideas that lacks among traditional systems. Hypertexts refer to electronic texts that can be viewed in a computer screen. They are linkable to information in a variety of different formats, like images, videos or other texts of different types and genres. Since children can access information according to his or her needs, it hypertext can be a good way of attaining cognitive flexibility skills.

    In general, computers and cognitive flexibility of children have formed a strong relationship bond to aid in children’s learning. By forming a concrete system, children will be having no trouble attaining cognitive flexibility skills.

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