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Just Curious: Children’s Use of Digital Reference for Unimposed Queries and Its Importance in Informal Education

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Title: Just Curious: Children’s Use of Digital Reference for Unimposed Queries and Its Importance in Informal Education
Author(s): Silverstein, Joanne
Subject(s): Children and digital resources
Abstract: This research investigated the informal use of two children’s digital reference services that were used for purposes unintended by the designers. The motivation for this research was to explore the ways that children bend to their own informal uses the formal tools designed to support their education. Research questions included, How and with what frequency do children use digital reference services to answer their own questions? Do digital reference services support self-initiated learning? Could digital reference services support the transfer of student motivation and curiosity from formal education to informal education? What do instructional and software designers need to consider in creating tools that support a notion of transformed education and learning? Results answered these questions and uncovered several unanticipated fi ndings. Digital reference services were shown to support efforts to interest children in science-related careers as early as fourth or fi fth grade and to support self-initiated learning in science. Unanticipated fi ndings showed that students ask different kinds of questions as they progress through school, and they should receive training in the use of digital reference services in elementary school. Further conclusions provide insights for digital reference software and service design and suggestions for more strategic pedagogical use of digital references services. (from the article)
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Graduate School of Library and Information Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info: In Library Trends 54 (2) Fall 2005: 228-244.
Genre: Article
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/3481
ISSN: 0024-2594
Publication Status: published or submitted for publication
Rights Information: Copyright 2005 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Date Available in IDEALS: 2007-12-13
 

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