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  1. The role that technology plays in supporting children at school and at home is more prominent than ever before due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. This has prompted us to focus the 6th International and Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Children \& Recommender and Information Retrieval Systems (KidRec) workshop on what the lasting changes will be to the design and development of child information retrieval systems. After two years, are information retrieval systems used more in and out of the classroom? Are they more interactive, more or less personalized? What is the impact on the research and business community? Are there long-termmore »and unexpected changes on the design, ethics, and algorithms? The primary goal of our workshop continues to be to build community by bringing together researchers, practitioners, and other stakeholders from various backgrounds and disciplines to understand and advance information retrieval systems for children.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 27, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2023
  3. Music is an important part of childhood development, with online music listening platforms being a significant channel by which children consume music. Children’s offline music listening behavior has been heavily researched, yet relatively few studies explore how their behavior manifests online. In this paper, we use data from LastFM 1 Billion and the Spotify API to explore online music listening behavior of children, ages 6–17, using education levels as lenses for our analysis. Understanding the music listening behavior of children can be used to inform the future design of recommender systems.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 20, 2022
  4. In this paper, we take a step towards understanding how to design search engine results pages (SERP) that encourage children’s engagement as they seek for online resources. For this, we conducted a participatory design session to enable us to elicit children’s preferences and determine what children (ages 6–12) find lacking in more traditional SERP. We learned that children want more dynamic means of navigating results and additional ways to interact with results via icons. We use these findings to inform the design of a new SERP interface, which we denoted CHIRP. To gauge the type of engagement that a SERPmore »incorporating interactive elements–CHIRP–can foster among children, we conducted a user study at a public school. Analysis of children’s interactions with CHIRP, in addition to responses to a post-task survey, reveals that adding additional interaction points results in a SERP interface that children prefer, but one that does not necessarily change engagement levels through clicks or time spent on SERP.« less
  5. Spellchecking functionality embedded in existing search tools can assist children by offering a list of spelling alternatives when a spelling error is detected. Unfortunately, children tend to generally select the first alternative when presented with a list of options, as opposed to the one that matches their intent. In this paper, we describe a study we conducted with 191 children ages 6-12 in order to offer empirical evidence of: (1) their selection habits when identifying spelling suggestions that match the word they meant to type, and (2) the degree of influence multimodal cues, i.e., synthesized speech and images, have inmore »prompting children to select the correct spelling suggestion. The results from our study reveal that multimodal cues, primarily synthesized speech, have a positive impact on the children's ability to identify their intended word from a list of spelling suggestions.« less
  6. We present StoryTime, a book recommender for children. Our web-based recommender is co-designed with children and uses images to elicit their preferences. By building on existing solutions related to both visual interfaces and book recommendation strategies for children, StoryTime can generate suggestions without historical data or adult guidance. We discuss the benefits of StoryTime as a starting point for further research exploring the cold start problem, incorporating historical data, and needs related to children as a complex audience to enhance the recommendation process.
  7. As children search the internet for materials, they o en turn to search engines that, unfortunately, o er children li le support as they formulate queries to initiate the search process or examine resources for relevance. While some solutions have been proposed to address this, inherent to this issue is the need to evaluate the e ectiveness of these solutions. We posit that the evaluation of the diverse aspects involved in the search process – from query suggestion generation to resource retrieval – requires a complex, multi-faceted approach that draws on evaluation methods utilized in human-computer interaction, information retrieval, naturalmore »language processing, education, and psychology.« less
  8. Children use popular web search tools, which are generally designed for adult users. Because children have different developmental needs than adults, these tools may not always adequately support their search for information. Moreover, even though search tools offer support to help in query formulation, these too are aimed at adults and may hinder children rather than help them. This calls for the examination of existing technologies in this area, to better understand what remains to be done when it comes to facilitating query-formulation tasks for young users. In this paper, we investigate interaction elements of query formulation--including query suggestion algorithms--formore »children. The primary goals of our research efforts are to: (i) examine existing plug-ins and interfaces that explicitly aid children's query formulation; (ii) investigate children's interactions with suggestions offered by a general-purpose query suggestion strategy vs. a counterpart designed with children in mind; and (iii) identify, via participatory design sessions, their preferences when it comes to tools / strategies that can help children find information and guide them through the query formulation process. Our analysis shows that existing tools do not meet children's needs and expectations; the outcomes of our work can guide researchers and developers as they implement query formulation strategies for children.« less
  9. Misspellings in queries used to initiate online searches is an everyday occurrence. When this happens, users either rely on the search engine's ability to understand their query or they turn to spellcheckers. Spellcheckers are usually based on popular dictionaries or past query logs, leading to spelling suggestions that often better resonate with adult users because that data is more readily available. Based on an educational perspective, previous research reports, and initial analyses of sample search logs, we hypothesize that existing spellcheckers are not suitable for young users who frequently encounter spelling challenges when searching for information online. We present earlymore »results of our ongoing research focused on identifying the needs and expectations children have regarding spellcheckers.« less