Information Institute of Syracuse to enhance children’s digital awareness with $375,000 grant
Information Institute of Syracuse to enhance children’sdigital awareness with $375,000 grantOctober 28, 2003Edward Byrnesedbyrnes@syr.edu
Joanne Silverstein, assistant research professor in Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies and director of research and development for the Information Institute of Syracuse (IIS), has received a $375,000 grant from the National Science Digital Library (NSDL) program to develop digital literacy among children. Silverstein’s award will be applied to a two-year science information literacy project called “Students Using NSDL” (SUN), which aims to develop online, interactive classroom activities based on the NSDL’s existing science, engineering, technology and math collections and increase children’s interest in those topics.
“The NSDL possesses rich and diverse resources, some of which are fairly sophisticated and pose challenges to children who want to explore and navigate them. My research team will create interfaces that sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students can use to interact with NSDL collections and experts, and that will encourage them to learn science information literacy,” says Silverstein.
The three-phase research will first concentrate on the selection of a national advisory panel that will identify the topics, scope and characteristics of the interactivities. The second phase will involve engineers, teachers and the research team in the creation and evaluation of system prototypes. The third phase will consist of assessments of the system’s affect on student attitudes and performance.
Silverstein hopes to advance the study of research methods by providing insights to the NSDL about the design of user-specific, age-appropriate user services; and by investigating how children can contribute to the design of their own resources.
The NSDL program is funded by the National Science Foundation and provides online access to over 90 innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematics collections and services.