Literacy in a technological age: Children's understandings of CD-ROM icons

Year: 1996

Author: Zammit, Katina

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Being literate in today's society and in the future means more than just being print - literate and the ability to read the written word and print-based resources. Schools and society are increasingly demanding individuals to be literate in a variety of modes - visual, computer, media, audio. Often these modes are not isolated but are intertwined, interconnected and influence each other eg multimedia, mass media and electronic hypermedia (New London Group 1995).

Despite the increased use of multi-media technology in primary schools little research has been done on children's understandings and use of this media, in particular their understandings of the use, function and meaning of the navigation icons essential for exploring CD-ROM programs. As the first level of interaction and navigation in a program, knowledge of the function and purpose of icons is necessary to fully utilise a program.

This paper will present initial findings from research into children's understandings of the icons used in CD-ROM programs. The study involved forty-eight students in grade 2 and grade 6 from 2 schools in South Western Sydney.