Exploring young children's web searching and technoliteracy

Spink, Amanda H., Danby, Susan J., Mallan, Kerry M., & Butler, Carly (2010) Exploring young children's web searching and technoliteracy. Journal of Documentation, 66(2), pp. 191-206.

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Purpose – This paper aims to report findings from an exploratory study investigating the web interactions and technoliteracy of children in the early childhood years. Previous research has studied aspects of older children’s technoliteracy and web searching; however, few studies have analyzed web search data from children younger than six years of age. Design/methodology/approach – The study explored the Google web searching and technoliteracy of young children who are enrolled in a “preparatory classroom” or kindergarten (the year before young children begin compulsory schooling in Queensland, Australia). Young children were video- and audio-taped while conducting Google web searches in the classroom. The data were qualitatively analysed to understand the young children’s web search behaviour. Findings – The findings show that young children engage in complex web searches, including keyword searching and browsing, query formulation and reformulation, relevance judgments, successive searches, information multitasking and collaborative behaviours. The study results provide significant initial insights into young children’s web searching and technoliteracy. Practical implications – The use of web search engines by young children is an important research area with implications for educators and web technologies developers. Originality/value – This is the first study of young children’s interaction with a web search engine.

Impact and interest:

26 citations in Scopus
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24 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 31386
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Worldwide web, Information searches, Children (age groups), Information literacy, Behaviour
DOI: 10.1108/00220411011023616
ISSN: 0022-0418
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies (200102)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Past > Schools > School of Cultural & Language Studies in Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Emerald
Deposited On: 21 Mar 2010 22:01
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:18

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