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Title: A comparison of children's in-school and out-of-school use of the internet : the coherence of the inchoate
Author: Wallace, Albin E.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3557 0466
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis examines and compares the in-school and out-of-school use of the internet by a sample of 883 year seven students from a group of demographically different schools in England. In comparing this usage a number of questions are asked about similarities and differences in behavior and lessons to be learned. Previous research and recent writings on this topic are examined and a theoretical framework is formed that eclectically draws on a number of sources, including postmodern authors. Similarly, a mixed methodology is used incorporating an online survey of students, group interviews and analysis of computer logs. The main research question for this thesis was phrased as: How do year seven children use the internet both in-school and out-of-school? This question was broken down into subsidiary questions. It was found that informal learning using the internet often appears as being self-motivated with a strong sense of ownership both of content creation and social networking. It is often generated by a real purposeful need by the children themselves often with the assistance of their peers. Schools should be places where literacy in new media can be developed. The sample of schools in which children were consulted in the research represents a broad set of demographic profiles across England. Although the sample was restricted to children at year seven, responses from other year levels may have shown a different set of responses as children's patterns of usage change. This is especially likely with respect to the ownership of social networking sites as older children may be more inclined to use the internet for communications and to behave in a more independent manner. All the students included in the sample were from schools with good internet provision and it also appeared that children were generally immersed in the internet in their out-of-school contexts. In this sense, perhaps the internet is a non-issue for them, being such a natural part of their lives that it holds no awe or surprise. The concern is that school and home practices will diverge to the point where school internet use becomes increasingly irrelevant in the lives of children.
Supervisor: Davies, Julia Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available