Educational Application for Preschool Children

Dagmar Tkadlecová Supervisor: Zdeněk Míkovec Master thesis 2012
Children are now living in a world that is no longer filled with real-life experience only: they can see fairies and monsters coming to life in modern rendered movies, and play with complicated electronic toys their grand-parents would consider too complex to be even called a toy. Contemporary children often know how to operate the newest mobile device, but can struggle narrating a short story or describing their summer vacation experiences. Such problems often cause a postponement of the school attendance, a trend that is still present in today's society. We tried to look further into special aids designed to help preschool children preparing for their school lives and ensuring smooth start in the educational process, and designed an application that would help them merge the fascinating experience of the interactive world together with acquiring the knowledge and skills they need. We intended particularly to discover how should an interactive educational application look like to appeal to young children and comply with the concept of learning through playing. Taking similar projects into account, we concentrated mainly on the visual experience, which is the most important area considering the target group - preschool children. This work thus contains a research into children's school readiness, guidelines for design centered on young children and a description of the design process of a prototype we created that is based on these guidelines. We intended to create an interactive educational application that aims to provide children with a plausible and beautiful visual experience, teaching them the basics while remaining playful, providing them with joy that results from an accomplished task and motivating them so to proceed further in the educational process.