Quiet! I’m Reading: Texting in eBooks

ID: 52983 Type: Brief Paper
  1. Glenn Smith, University of South Florida, United States
  2. Robert Haworth, University of Western Ontario, Canada
  3. Beth Jordan and Diane Austin, University of South Florida, United States

Tuesday, June 26 11:05-11:25 AM Location: Oud West View on map

Presider: Thierry Karsenti, University of Montreal, Canada

Abstract: We investigated how ten to eleven year-old children texted in small groups within web-based eBooks with embedded games. We investigated both “open texting,” (children texting about what they chose) and “guided texting,” (discussing a suggested topic related to the book). We were interested in: (1) how the students’ texted in the novel digital environment of web-based eBooks with games, and (2) what learning affordances emerged from this texting. Fourth- and fifth- grade students, in a school library, used a web-based system for reading eBooks and texting with others. Their librarian set up the groups and monitored the text conversations. Data was obtained from: (1) the archived database logs of the texts, (2) the researchers’ observations, and (3) the librarian’s observations. Our preliminary data focuses on two groups of four students each, each involved in one guided discussion. The total number of postings in the guided discussion was 33. Twenty-two out of the 33 postings were not topic-related (i.e., not related to the guided question). Eleven out of the 33 postings were topic-related (related to the guided question), and formed a coherent dialog. Although this data is preliminary, it shows how naturally children take to web-based digital communication, such as texting, even in an unfamiliar context. Further, it shows that they adapt to an intended academic task via guided texting, if it is presented in a technological manner familiar to them (texting).

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