Supporting early language development and interest in reading with digital personalised books.
Our project investigates the benefits and limitations of personalisation in children's digital products, with a specific focus on personalised books.
The project is funded by ESRC and hosted by UCL Institute of Education (IOE).
- What is personalisation in children's books?
Personalisation is a broad umbrella term for several features, behaviours, patterns or characteristics. Objects and experiences can be personalised for children or they can be personalised by a particular child.
Personalisation is different from customisation, which involves adjustment to a given content or template.
" One of the key differences between digital and printed books is that digital books are customisable and increasingly personalisable. Children's digital books can be customised in terms of their display (e.g. an image can be made bigger or font enlarged) or they can be personalised in terms of their multimodal content. With several story apps, children can insert their own voice-overs or 'selfies' into their favourite story. Clearly, children are likely to be more motivated to engage with books which feature them or a caregiver's voiceover rather than a pre-recorded automated voice. Yet, is personalisation in children's books more than a motivational tactic?
- About the project
This project explores how mobile digital technology can be developed and used to support young children's language learning and early interest in reading. More specifically, it investigates the effects of enhancing the child's reading experience through the use of digital personalised books, and considers effective strategies for supporting children's early reading with digital technology at home and in Early Years education.
Read more about the project overview and planned impact:
- Articles and Publications
Blogs and online articles
- Personalisation in children’s reading: what do the literacy experts think? (IOE Blog)
- Call for regulation on securing children's data in personalised reading (London School of Economics and Political Science)
- Supporting and developing parents' strategies for children's use of digital media at home (London School of Economics and Political Science)
- Toddlers and touchscreens: a parent's guide (The Conversation)
- The rise in personalised story books and what it means for children's privacy (The Conversation)
- Why the very idea of 'screen time' is muddled and misguided (The Conversation)
- The personalised reading revolution (The Bookseller)
- Don't chuck out the classics to personalise your child's library (The Conversation)
- Personalised books: exciting but also risky times for children's stories (Huffington Post)
- Personalised books for children shouldn't have a bad name (The Guardian)
- Kucirkova, N., Ng, I. & Holtby, J. (2017). From mirrors to selfies: protecting children's data for personalised learning and future growth. UCL Institute of Education: London, UK.
- Kucirkova, Natalia; Littleton, Karen and Kyparissiadis, Antonios (2017). The influence of children's gender and age on children's use of digital media at home. British Journal of Educational Technology
- Kucirkova, N. (2016) Personalisation: a theoretical possibility to reinvigorate children's interest in storybook reading and facilitate greater book diversity, Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, 17 (3), 1-16.
- Kucirkova, N., Messer, D., & Sheehy, K. (2014) Reading personalized books with preschool children enhances their word acquisition, First Language, 34, 3, 227-243.
- Kucirkova, N., Messer, D., & Sheehy, K. (2014) The effects of personalization on young children's spontaneous speech during shared book reading, Journal of Pragmatics, 71, 45-55.
Central image: adapted from iPad dream #3, by Lance Shields via Flickr