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Modeling and Assessing Radical Change Youth Information Behavior in the Digital Age: A Pilot Study

Kyungwon Koh and Eliza Dresang

(Submission #75)


Recent studies in various disciplines claim that today's children think and learn differently due to the new digital media culture. New media forms and formats require new 21st century skills such as Information and Communication Technology literacies and appreciation of cultural diversity. However, insufficient empirical study has been conducted in Library and Information Science on how this changed digital environment affects the information behavior of youth. This pilot study (a) investigates what children's new information behaviors are and (b) assesses their effectiveness in the digital age. It also explores observed ethnic/ gender differences in children's information behavior. This investigation not only applies Radical Change theory, developed during the 1990s by one of the researchers, as an explanatory framework, but also refines and expands the theory. The research is conducted in a school media center in Florida with culturally diverse children. The researchers design collaborative problem-solving activity sessions based on sound child development and learning principles and collaborate with science/math teachers and the school media specialist to collect data. Assessments of information behavior related to 21st century skills are created using Evidence-Centered Design and Bayesian Networks, analysis tools relatively new to Library and Information Science research. The preliminary findings of this research contribute to innovation of thought within the field and address key challenges of information behavior in a pluralistic society.

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