Digital Literacy Practices of Young Children in Informal Learning Spaces
18 Sep 2017-pp 332-339
TL;DR: This research attempts to bridge the gap that exists between children’s uses of digital technology at home and in other informal settings and contributes and highlights the need for studying learning more holistically.
Abstract: This paper reviews research on digital literacy practices of young children (0–8 years) in out-of-school settings or in informal learning spaces/settings. The purpose of this review is to identify the literature and topics that have arisen from non-school-based or informal space research and to highlight main directions and dimensions. The major research question is: What is the role of informal learning spaces in shaping children’s digital literacy practices? This research attempts to bridge the gap that exists between children’s uses of digital technology at home and in other informal settings and contributes and highlights the need for studying learning more holistically.
02 Jan 2016
TL;DR: Findings from a study that explored implications for design of interactive learning environments through 18 months of ethnographic observations of people's interactions at “Hack The Evening” (HTE) reveal challenges and barriers that the HTE group faced in regards to connected learning.
Abstract: Learning is most effective when intrinsically motivated through personal interest, and situated in a supportive socio-cultural context. This paper reports on findings from a study that explored implications for design of interactive learning environments through 18 months of ethnographic observations of people’s interactions at “Hack The Evening” (HTE). HTE is a meetup group initiated at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and dedicated to provide visitors with opportunities for connected learning in relation to hacking, making and do-it-yourself technology. The results provide insights into factors that contributed to HTE as a social, interactive and participatory environment for learning – knowledge is created and co-created through uncoordinated interactions among participants that come from a diversity of backgrounds, skills and areas of expertise. The insights also reveal challenges and barriers that the HTE group faced in regards to connected learning. Four dimensions of design opportunities are presented to overcome those challenges and barriers towards improving connected learning in library buildings and other free-choice learning environments that seek to embody a more interactive and participatory culture among their users. The insights are relevant for librarians as well as designers, managers and decision makers of other interactive and free-choice learning environments.
••24 Sep 2018
TL;DR: Estonian primary school teachers’ information seeking behaviour, the sources and tools they use to find and evaluate information, the challenges they face and their usage of libraries are explored.
Abstract: The aim of the study was to explore Estonian primary school teachers’ information seeking behaviour, the sources and tools they use to find and evaluate information, the challenges they face and their usage of libraries. A questionnaire was used to collect the data. Fiftyfour primary school teachers in Estonia participated in this study. The study contributes to the understanding of information behavior of primary school teachers and identifies the main problems and challenges they face.
31 Jan 2001
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explore learners' behaviors, attitudes, and preferences toward informal learning spaces in higher education, within and outside of the context of the academic library and produce a typology of nine learning space preference attributes which address aspects of learning theory, placemaking, and architecture.
Abstract: What makes a successful informal learning space is a topic in need of further research. The body of discourse on informal space design is drawn from learning theory, placemaking, and architecture, with a need for understanding of the synergy between the three. Findings from a longitudinal, quantitative, and qualitative study at Sheffield Hallam University, explore learners' behaviors, attitudes, and preferences toward informal learning spaces in higher education, within and outside of the context of the academic library. The learning spaces study contributes to the discourse on informal learning spaces design by producing a typology of nine learning space preference attributes which address aspects of learning theory, placemaking, and architecture. The typology can be used to evaluate existing spaces and inform redevelopment of informal learning spaces in higher education institutions. Implementing the typology will be subject to localized conditions, but at Sheffield Hallam University the key conclusions...
01 Jun 2004
TL;DR: The Read-It application as mentioned in this paper uses augmented tabletops to support the development of reading skills for young children, where children of five-to-seven-year old were actively involved in designing and testing this application.
Abstract: Augmented tabletops can be used to create multi-modal and collaborative environments in which natural interactions with tangible objects that represent virtual (digital) information can be performed. Such environments are considered potentially interesting for many different applications. In this paper, we address the question of whether or not it makes sense to use such environments to design learning experiences for young children. More specifically, we present the "Read-It" application that we have created to illustrate how augmented tabletops can support the development of reading skills. Children of five-to-seven-years old were actively involved in designing and testing this application. A pilot experiment was conducted with a prototype of the Read-It application, in order to confirm that it does indeed meet the a priori expectations. We hope that the Read-It application will inspire the development of more tabletop applications that are targeted at specific user groups and activities.
01 Jan 2015
TL;DR: Martinez et al. as discussed by the authors investigated three types of youth makerspaces (museum, after-school, and mobile/library), highlighting design affordances and constraints of each, and developed an activity-identity-community framework, which they used as their analytic frame.
Abstract: The maker movement is fundamentally changing the way educators and educational researchers envision teaching and learning. This movement contends making — an active process of building, designing, and innovating with tools and materials to produce shareable artifacts — is a naturally rich and authentic learning trajectory (Martinez & Stager, 2013). Makerspaces are places where making happens in community. I craft my dissertation to explore these two defining characteristics of makerspaces through a comparative case study (Stake, 1995) and a design experiment (Brown, 1992). In the comparative case study, I investigate three youth makerspaces as learning environments and the communities within as learning communities. I employ the design experiment to examine making as an activity that demonstrates learning. With these two complementary studies, I seek to answer the question: how is learning demonstrated in makerspaces? I ground my study in the convergences of new literacies and constructionist learning theories. From the intersections of these two learning theories, I develop an activity-identity-community framework, which I use as my analytic frame. My goal is threefold: 1) to compare three types of youth makerspaces (museum, afterschool, and mobile/library), highlighting design affordances and constraints of each; 2) to build a comprehensive understanding of how experienced young makers approach and complete activities in makerspaces, and 3) to realize implications for design and assessment of makerspace-inspired learning environments (e.g., classroom making activities). Findings expand the limited empirical research connecting making and learning by directly informing our understanding of youth makerspaces as learning environments and assessment of making activities — two key gaps identified earlier this year at the National Research Meeting on
TL;DR: The authors investigated the complexity of the everyday communicative practices utilized by young Canadian children in and out-of-school, in an attempt to inform the future direction of literacy curricula for children.
Abstract: Recently, researchers have begun to investigate the ways contemporary childhoods are being shaped by a range of multimodal communicative practices (Kress, Literacy in the new media age, Routledge, New York, 2003; Lankshear and Knobel, New literacies: Changing knowledge and classroom learning, Open University Press, Milton Keynes, 2003). This is particularly relevant as the changing communication systems of the 21st century are influencing the ways children make meaning in their worlds. In this article, we discuss two case studies that occurred in two different urban Canadian contexts where we sought to privilege the voices, lives, and meaning making experiences of two young boys by involving them as active participants in research. Drawing on sociocultural and multimodal theories of learning, the purpose of this research was to investigate the complexity of the everyday communicative practices utilized by young Canadian children in and out-of-school, in an attempt to inform the future direction of literacy curricula for children. Although many researchers advocate for children’s “voices” to be taken into account in educational research, few report the evidence of engaging children in the research process. In the two cases, the data collection methods provided opportunities for children to express themselves, and revealed the meaning making practices that they valued. The findings also showed how the practices valued and promoted in the focal children’s classrooms generally reflected traditional and narrow modes of communication, specifically, printbased and teacher-directed practices.
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