Some thoughts on my practical experiences of field work (and preliminary outcomes!)
I’ve now done three runs of my field work and started analysing the data. So today I thought I’d discuss some of the preliminary findings, and their implications. The findings are interesting in themselves, but I also want to highlight some of the benefits of the methods I used – recording talk, and ‘on-screen’ behaviours of groups of children completing search engine tasks.
But, sorry to tease, I’m not going to talk about it at all today…In this blog, I’m going to give an overview of research looking at differences in access to internet information. My broader research looks at the ways students use talk to think about what knowledge they need to solve problems, and then actively attempt to address those problems. I’ll write more specifically on that topic as I go on, but today I’ll focus on the problem of finding information:
Yesterday I gave a brief introduction to how I think about the research process.
Today I want to give a (briefer) overview of what that means for a particular study. I talked before about measuring ‘success’ in search engine tasks – and that’s one part of my study. But my main interest is in the reasons for differences in success, on a sociocultural level. So, rather than asking “does this group have access to information”, we also need to ask “can this group use the information they have, effectively”. Part of that will involve looking at skills, part about how they’re supported – by friends, family, professionals, part about structural issues for example, if they need to travel to a job interview, can they afford to do so. more >
This fortnight I want to talk about two things – firstly carrying on from my discussion of BETT and LWF; secondly I thought I’d share some of the education blogs which I find inspiration from, and often share great tools.
One of the most depressing statistics from a couple of years ago indicated that a large number of schools had not updated from Internet Explorer 6. This left their security vulnerable, but it also meant that many resources couldn’t be accessed and – an idea that fills my constant 100+ tab self with horror – they were bereft of many of the updates that modern browsers ushered in, tabbed browsing and in-browser search bars included. more >
Ofcom reported on the results from two media use surveys on 2 June 2011. (You will, naturally, want to reflect on the fact that this is an auspicious day: the 59th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation.) There were two reports from Ofcom.
Alison Preston (Senior Research Associate) reported on the UK Adults Media Literacy survey which was fielded in Spring and Autumn 2010. The two waves were combined for a sample size of 2,117 adults age 16+. There were three main points to take away from her report.
First, Internet use (called “take-up” in Ofcom jargon) is increasing and has reached 74% of all individuals. This is consistent with the OxIS 2011 survey, which shows 73%. It remains skewed by age and social grade, with younger people and people in higher social grades using the Internet more. This is true of both simple use and amount (hours) of use. more >