Associate Professor June Ahn is one of the authors of a new article in the International Journal of Child-Computer Interaction: "Connecting Children’s Scientific Funds of Knowledge Shared on Social Media to Science Concepts."
The ubiquitous use of social media by children offers a unique opportunity to view diverse funds of knowledge that may otherwise be overlooked. We have iteratively designed a social media app to be integrated into our science learning program which engages families in science in their community. This case study highlights how three focal learners (ages 9-14) revealed scientific funds of knowledge through social media sharing. Their teachers noticed occasional funds of knowledge in the children’s posts that they could connect to formal science concepts. However, other scientific funds of knowledge were not obvious by observing the posts alone. Rather, these latent funds of knowledge emerged through our triangulation of posts, interviews and observations of their learning experiences in our life-relevant science education program. Our findings suggest implications for the design of technology and learning environments to facilitate the connection of children’s implicit and more unconventional scientific funds of knowledge to formal science concepts.