Kazan Federal University (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN18 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 4769-4773
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1185
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
Designers of educational technologies often develop products with the best of intentions, only to face the fact that the usage rate is low once the products are released. This suggests that learning, understanding and listening to potential users’ ideas and proposals is essential.

This research focuses on the study of an online school Live Fairytales aimed at Russian language learners aged 3-5 who live outside of Russia or who grow up in multiethnic areas of the Russian Federation. The team of researchers conducted a study to examine how the newly developed multimodal digital resources meet the needs and expectations of educators who work with very young learners. Online language resources of Live Fairytales were integrated into the regular curriculum of five sites and involved 40 children aged 3-5. Data sources included reports of five educators from research sites. The reports contained information on the group of children (their number, age and gender), the date and time of the pilot version testing, a detailed description of the lessons and their analysis. Each report ended with recommendations for the online school designers.

Study results demonstrate that the educators were mostly satisfied with the school concept. What is more, being “channels” for providing the researchers with information on the very young students’ learning experiences, they reported the learners’ excitement over interacting with the online school. However, they expressed their desire to adjust the text and audio-visual content of the school by simplifying the language of fairytales and shortening their length, adding songs and additional illustrations. Furthermore, the educators made valuable suggestions about improving the navigation system of the website of the online school. Educators’ evaluation of the digital online resources enabled to see the affordances and pitfalls of audio-, visual and verbal materials integrated into the online school. For that reason, users’ feedback should be regularly obtained throughout the life cycle of digital learning objects: from their initial conception to design to eventual release.
Online learning, Russian, early childhood education, language development, bilingualism, digital learning objects.