Thursday, May 12, 2005

ICDLCommunities project

You've likely heard of the International Children's Digital Library. There have also been research on what will become ICDLCommunities (International Children's Digital Library Communities), an extension of the digitization project. A report entitled "Evaluating A Cross-Cultural Children's Online Book Community: Sociability, Usability, And Cultural Exchange" has been issued that summarizes the research results to date. The abstract says:
As an extension of the International Children's Digital Library, the ICDLCommunities project will enable children's communities to develop around the book collection, build tools that allow intercultural communication between children without the use of machine translation, and promote cross-cultural understanding. It will provide a supportive, safe environment for children (aged 7-11) who speak different languages and are from different cultures to come together and use activities related to books in the ICDL to provide common ground. This report presents a review of the research on children, technology, and online communities; describes an evaluation of the prototype activities and tools conducted with children in Argentina and the U.S.; and discusses the lessons learned and their implications on the design of the ICDLCommunities interface.
The research report provides lessons learned as well as suggestions for the interface. One of the recommendation is to "provide spaces for sharing images." They learned that children like to share images of themselves, their things, and their work. Therefore, project needs to provide more space where materials can be shared, as well as the ability for children to post an image that they want associated with themselves (like the icons used in Instant Messenger).


Joy said...

The picture associated with a person in an IM session or other social software is called an "avatar."
Here's the wikipedia entry on it:

A new word for me this year....

Jill Hurst-Wahl said...

Ah...yes...I've heard that before. In AIM, which I use, they are called simply Buddy Icons. The report used the word images, probably realizing that the word Avatar would have to be explained.

Thanks for the Wikipedia page.