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Advances in Human-Computer InteractionVolume 2008 2008, Article ID 387076, 13 pages

Research Article

Unit for Early Childhood Education, Department of Teacher Education, University of Tampere, 33014 Tampere, Finland

Tampere Unit for Computer-Human Interaction TAUCHI, Department of Computer Sciences, University of Tampere, 33014 Tampere, Finland

Academic Development Unit, University of Tampere, 33014 Tampere, Finland

Received 1 October 2007; Revised 15 August 2008; Accepted 28 October 2008

Academic Editor: Adrian Cheok

Copyright © 2008 Eva Tuominen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper focuses on developing, testing, and examining the Proagents multimodal learning environment to support blind children's explorative learning in the area of astronomy. We utilize haptic, auditive, and visual interaction. Haptic and auditory feedbacks make the system accessible to blind children. The system is used as an exploration tool for children's spontaneous and question-driven explorations. High-level interaction and play are essential with environments for young children. Proactive agents support and guide children to deepen their explorations and discover the central concepts and relations in phenomena. It has been challenging to integrate together in a pedagogically relevant way the explorative learning approach, proactive agents' actions, haptic perception's possibilities, and the selected astronomical phenomena. Our tests have shown that children are very interested in using the system and the operations of the agents.

Autor: Eva Tuominen, Marjatta Kangassalo, Pentti Hietala, Roope Raisamo, and Kari Peltola



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