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Chu 2009 WiseNews Database for Upper Primary Students

Chu 2009 WiseNews Database for Upper Primary Students

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Published by Sam Chu

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Published by: Sam Chu on Jan 21, 2010
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09/07/2010

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 N:\Sam-publications\published articles\conf\Chu 2009 WiseNews database for upper primary students.doc 12/24/2009
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Chu, S.K.W., Mak, M.Y.K. & Wong, P.T.Y. (2009, November). WiseNews database for upper primarystudents and teachers? Paper presented at
 International Conference on Primary Education
, The Hong KongInstitute of Education, Hong Kong.
WiseNews database for upper primary students and teachers
SAMUEL K.W. CHU
 Division of Information Technologies, Faulty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong  E-mail: samchu@hkucc.hku.hk  
Maggie Y. K. Mak 
CITE, Faulty of Education, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong  E-mail: mykmak@hku.hk 
Peggy, T. Y. Wong
 Department of Psychology, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong  E-mail:wpeggy529@hotmail.com 
 
 N:\Sam-publications\published articles\conf\Chu 2009 WiseNews database for upper primary students.doc 12/24/2009
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Abstract
Electronic databases are widely used by students and teachers at secondary and tertiary level togather information for academic purposes. Few studies have investigated their use in primaryeducation, especially in the Asian context. A pilot study conducted a year ago has shown thatWiseNews, an electronic news database, was effective in facilitating the inquiry project-basedlearning of primary students at a school in Hong Kong. The current research extends the pilot study by examining the use of WiseNews by upper primary students and their teachers in five local primary schools. Automatic records of students’ and teachers’ database activities provided byWiseNews will be used to examine the usage habit of students and teachers. Students and teacherswill be surveyed regarding their perceived usefulness of WiseNews database for learning andteaching purposes. Data collection and analysis adopted a mixed method design. The qualitativeanalysis will include an in-depth analysis of the types of articles retrieved by the students, inaddition to the responses to the open-ended questions on the survey. This research will help teachersand school administrators to assess the effectiveness of WiseNews database in facilitating learningat upper primary levels.
Keywords:
news database, primary education
 
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Introduction
 Nowadays, electronic databases or libraries are widely used by secondary and tertiary students for gathering information related to academic studies (Atakan, Atilgan, Bayram, & Arslantekin, 2008).The educational value of these electronic databases for higher education has been well-established inliterature (e.g. Tenopir, 2003, Vibert et al., 2007). In 2004, Education Bureau (EDB) of thegovernment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region suggested to expand the use of electronic databases to secondary and primary schools in order to empower teaching and learning at primary and secondary levels (EDB, 2004). However, relatively little research work has been done toevaluate their use of electronic databases at primary level since then. A significant body of researchfindings has revealed that young learners’ interactions with electronic resources and their informationseeking behaviors are very different from those of adults’ (Hirsh, 1999). Being so, it is important toinvestigate the use of these electronic resources in primary education context in order to identifyresources that suit the specific learning needs of young learners.A pilot study undertaken in a local primary school has revealed that WiseNews, an electronic newsdatabase, can be useful for Primary 4 students for their inquiry-based learning (Chow, Chu, Ng, Fong,Kwan & Leung, 2007). WiseNews database draws information from a myriad of sources such asnewspapers, magazines, journals and newswires and is updated every day with content direct fromnearly 1000 content providers and 500-plus top tier websites. Containing such vast wealth of 

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