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Title: A study of young people's use of ICT in domestic environments : an activity theory perspective
Author: Britto, Joseph J.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3480 6094
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2007
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This study examines the learning of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills by young people in domestic environments. The theoretical framework is based on Cultural Historical Activity Theory (Cole, 1996; Engeström, 1987; Nardi, 1996) and it is used to examine the ICT activities occurring in young people's homes. The study is about both the exploration of home ICT use and the 'exploratory tools' used as well; it is an experiment, therefore, in the practical application of Activity Theory. The thesis uses Activity Theory to examine how a group of individuals engage with ICT; it also uses this theoretical perspective to inform the interview questions and the subsequent formulation of a framework for data analysis. The primary focus is on the interactions, contexts and opportunities for learning afforded by the home environment. The thesis explores the claims that 'young people learn ICT in their homes'. The interviews suggest that young people engage in a very wide range of 'exotic' tasks and activities and that the skills necessary to undertake these are 'picked up' as and when required. Activity Theory is used to help clarify the complex interactions involved in learning in these contexts. An analysis of the interviews reinforces the view that home-based ICT is very different to school-based ICT. Young people overcome the problems and pitfalls encountered during their everyday engagement with ICT by accessing a variety of artefactual resources resulting from other Activity Systems. The study also looks at how the affordances of the young people's environment can offer a range of learning opportunities. The interviews also suggest that in these contexts, young people will learn only if there is a perceived need and establishes that due to the nature of the technology currently in use, a certain level of technical expertise seems to be an important prerequisite.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available