Children’s personalised books: A look back and a look ahead

Colloquium | October 7 | 4-5:30 p.m. | Berkeley Way West, Room 1102, Berkeley Way West (2121 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720)

 Natalia Kucirkova, Norwegian Centre for Learning Environment and Behavioural Research, University of Stavanger, Norway

 Graduate School of Education

The increased availability of customisable technologies and broader socio-cultural and economic phenomena (e.g., increased urbanization, globalization and multiculturalism), have led to a heightened commercial interest in personalised products for young children. This talk focuses on personalized books and personalised digital reading. I will begin with an explanation of what is meant by digital personalisation in early childhood, with some examples of the resources and practices subsumed under this umbrella term. I will outline how digital personalization affects children’s reading experience and how it impacts on children’s learning. In particular, I will focus on the data from an ESRC-funded project on Children’s Personalised Stories. I will discuss key themes from this study and how they relate to agency and subjectivity in children’s reading on screen. I will conclude with attention to research methods, with participatory and community-based research highlighted as a promising methodological approach to personalisation.

About the Speaker. Natalia Kucirkova is Professor of Early Childhood Education and Development at the University of Stavanger, Norway and Senior Research Fellow at the University College London, UK. Natalia’s research concerns innovative ways of supporting children’s book reading, digital literacy, and exploring the role of personalisation in the early years. She co-edits the Bloomsbury Book Series Children’s Reading and Writing on Screen and the journal Literacy published by Wiley. Natalia’s research takes place collaboratively across academia, commercial and third sectors. She has co-developed an award-winning MOOC “Childhood in the Digital Age”, an app for children’s story-making “Our Story” and professional development course for teachers “Children’s Reading on Screen”.