In this brief series, Terry Waller talks with four leading researchers to gain some personal perspectives on the role of technology in the education of vulnerable young people. The interviews aimed to provide an insight into existing practice, research gaps and potential future areas of investigation, highlighting the challenges and opportunities provided by the internet.
The Hay Festival is always a great calendar entry: wonderful setting, fascinating talks, and an interested, thoughtful audience ready to discuss key issues. The festival also provided the opportunity for us to launch Nominet Trust’s new £2m social investment programme to fund new ideas for using digital technology to improve young people’s economic and social participation.
As part of the Digital Makers programme that we’re developing with Nesta, Mozilla and a range of other partners, I was able to share some of the challenges that this programme is navigating and looking to address at an event at Ravensbourne College on Friday 25th May.
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 >