Watching young children "play" with information technology: Everyday life information seeking in the home
Library & Information Science Research
Highlights Young children engage with technology in artistic play, socio-dramatic play and literacy/numeracy. Everyday life information seeking (ELIS) way of life and mastery of life are modeled in children's activities. Video data provide a glimpse into technology use by young children in their homes. Abstract Research on how young children use information to orient themselves in daily life and to solve problems (known as everyday life information seeking or ELIS) has not been conducted,
... indepth, in information science. This exploratory observation study examines how 15 Australian preschool children (aged three to five) used information technologies in their homes to orient themselves in daily life and to solve problems. Children engaged in various ways with the digital technologies available to them and with parents and siblings during play activities. The results explore the value of artistic play, sociodramatic play, and early literacy and numeracy activities in shaping young children's 'way of life' and 'mastery of life' as outlined in Savolainen's (1995) ELIS model. Observed technology engagement provided an opportunity to explore children's social worlds and the ways that they gathered information during technology play that will inform future learning activities and support child development. By using ELIS theory as an analytic lens, the results demonstrate how children's developmental play with technology tools helps them to internalize social and cultural norms. The data also point to the type of capital available to children and how that capital contributes to children's emerging information practices.