Supporting teachers to learn about their students’ everyday digital uses.
As mobile and connected digital practices reshape social, interpersonal and learning relationships, it is crucial for teachers and schools to be informed practically and conceptually about how these technologies are actually being used in everyday life. It is increasingly challenging to keep pace with rapid change, and to know and respond to the ways in which the digital is woven in and around children’s worlds and family lives.
The Everyday Digital Project brought teachers together to develop strategies to research what the children at their schools did with digital media when at home and with their friends.
This website contains an account of how the project worked with the teachers and then videos of the teachers themselves talking about what they learned from the project and what works well or not so well in their schools, with their students, colleagues and parents in the school community.
To help teachers’ research their own school communities’ digital experiences the academic partners first introduced the landscape for young people growing up today embedded in digital culture.
The project then concentrated on practical ways to support teachers to work with their peers both to:
- challenge assumptions about children and young people’s digital media use; and
- to invent and devise simple activities to help them learn about their classes’ digital use (in and out of school).
Teachers were encouraged to work with their pupils in a contemporary “funds of knowledge” approach sharing and testing their emerging findings with their students in order both to validate this kind of knowledge but also to ensure that students and their families can feel confident that their informal and everyday media use is understood by the more formal world of the school.
The second phase of the project then shifted focus to bring teachers together to consider what kind of curriculum challenge and what kind of pedagogical innovation could stand as an appropriate response to this new kind of knowledge about the school communities’ use of the digital every day. We deliberately took on central social and political questions about, for example truthfulness, validation, privacy and safety – themes that teachers consider require structured intervention – and built these themes into future syllabi, classroom projects, school policies or indeed home/school activities or links.
This site includes: Strategies where the teachers describe their approaches to their research; and their Findings where the teachers discuss what participating in this project taught them about their students’ out-of-school media use. (NB: Both the Strategies and Findings pages contain a range of videos so may take some time to upload).