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Surfing Blind: a study into the effects of exposing young adolescents to explicit search engine skills


Morrison, R, Surfing Blind: a study into the effects of exposing young adolescents to explicit search engine skills, The Australian Association for Research in Education (AARE) Conference 2016, Melbourne, Australia (2016) [Refereed Conference Paper]

PDF (Morrison, R. (2016). Surfing Blind: A study into the effects of exposing young adolescents to explicit search engine skills. Paper presented at the conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education. December, Melbourne, Australia. )

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The Internet provides today’s students with the world’s greatest library. It is in their homes, their schools and even in their pockets. Yet this powerful educational tool, with its practically infinite opportunities, is increasingly going under-utilized research suggests. Several studies report a skill-deficit exhibited by adolescents when using online search engines in particular. Little is known, however, about the potential benefits of exposing students to explicit search engines skills. This paper discusses the findings of a mixed method study exploring the degree to which exposure to such skills affects adolescents’ online searching. It seeks to provide new knowledge by analyzing searching behaviours through a semiotic lens. Semiotics provides the study with a language with which to discuss the changing role of students when using digital technologies and the different communication inherent when using search engines. The study reveals a tendency on the students’ behalf to view their role as subordinate when conducting online searches, and a reluctance to change this view despite intervention. The paper also reports that adolescents are, however, willing to change and attempt to improve their searching behaviours post exposure to explicit skills.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:Search Engines; Google; Middle Years; Digital Literacy; Active learning; Explicit instruction; Students; Intervention; semiotics
Research Division:Information and Computing Sciences
Research Group:Data management and data science
Research Field:Information retrieval and web search
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Teaching and curriculum
Objective Field:Teaching and instruction technologies
UTAS Author:Morrison, R (Dr Renee Morrison)
ID Code:130838
Year Published:2016
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2019-02-15
Last Modified:2019-11-07
Downloads:140 View Download Statistics

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