Computer Science

News and events

25 January 2012

Interacting with Knowledge, Interacting with People: Web Searching in Early Childhood

Presented By Professor Amanda Spink, Professor of Information Science, Department of Information Science, Loughborough University
  • 3.00pm
  • A234, Schofield Building

About this event

Abstract: The presentation explores new and emerging dimensions in our understanding of information behaviour and Web searching abilities in early childhood. Spink (2010) proposed that information behaviour is shaped by both instinctive and environmental dimensions, and emerges in early childhood. The presentation explores what we currently know about the development of Web searching abilities in young children. We report results from an ongoing study of Web searching by four and five year old children who were video-and audio-taped Google Web searching in a preschool classroom (Spink, et al., 2010). An initial study found that young children engage in complex Web searches and information behaviours, including keyword searching and browsing, query formulation and reformulation, relevance judgments, successive related Web searches overtime, information multitasking (multiple topics in single Web search sessions) and collaborative behaviours. The next research phase is a large Australian Research Council (ARC) funded study investigating the extent of young children's Web searching in classrooms and home environments, what they access and in what social contexts. Findings will inform educators, Web designers and families about young childrens' Web use for socially interactive learning and knowledge-building.