The Learning Value of Personalization in Children's Reading Recommendation Systems: What Can We Learn From Constructionism?

The Learning Value of Personalization in Children's Reading Recommendation Systems: What Can We Learn From Constructionism?

Natalia Kucirkova (UCL Institute of Education, UK & The Norwegian Centre for Learning Environment and Behavioural Research, University of Stavanger, Norway)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/IJMBL.2019100106
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Abstract

This article critically reviews the personalization logic embedded in reading recommendation systems developed for 2- to 11-year-old children and its (dis)alignment with Papert's constructionist and socio-constructionist theories of learning. It is argued that the current design fails to incorporate the computer culture that Papert envisioned for children's learning. While the personalization design focuses on child-centered design, it restricts the child's contribution to the database, minimises children's agency in shaping it and reinforces individual models of learning. The paper recommends that reading recommendation systems provide opportunities for what Papert described as self-discovery, experimentation, and development of abstract knowledge. Recommendation algorithms need to work in conjunction with diversification mechanisms to challenge and widen children's thinking and diversification should not be conflated with randomization. Practical examples are provided so that the approach described in this article can be used as a foundation for conceptualising and designing children's reading recommendation systems and data-based personalized learning more broadly.
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Delimitations And Key Terms

Reading Recommendation Systems

Platforms that fall under the umbrella term of reading recommendation systems include micro library systems, cloud e-book services or adaptive and personalized reading recommendation systems (Wu & Huang, 2016). In this paper, the generic term reading recommendation systems is used, which applies to systems that provide recommendations for printed as well as digital children’s books, and, in addition to a list of books, can include videos, shows, films, games and apps. Children’s reading recommendation systems are offered as subscription services or free online databases. The content can be curated by the system provider and/or the child’s teacher or parent/caregiver, depending on the payment model.

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