Homework through a network: designing technologies to support learning activities within the home and between home and school

Fraser, Katie C. (2009) Homework through a network: designing technologies to support learning activities within the home and between home and school. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Government policy and academic research both talk about transforming learning through networked technologies – sharing newly available information about the learning context with new partners to support lifelong learning activities, and giving learners increased power and autonomy. This thesis examines how such learning opportunities might be supported. In order to ground these learning opportunities in current educational activity it studies homework, which is an example of a learning activity that spans multiple contexts and the current roll-out point of networked technologies in UK schools.

This thesis uses an ecological approach to studying homework practices and activities, and the views, needs and roles of stakeholders, working with ICT coordinators, children, and families.

Its core findings are twofold, and centre on the opening up and closing down of homework to involvement within the homework community. The first core finding is that children benefit from actively structuring their homework activities to involve or exclude other family members, and that the networked technologies which teachers plan to use in homework fail to mediate these processes successfully, unlike traditional homework technologies.

The second core finding is that details of homework activities transmitted across a network can include too much information about a child or a family’s wider activities, violating privacy and leading families to reject technologies.

This thesis identifies design tactics which can help children and their families negotiate how and when information is shared, and provides evidence that these design solutions can be implemented successfully within homework, if designed to fit within the ecology of the home. It discusses the circumstances in which these tactics could be useful in supporting lifelong learning, and establishes the importance of considering how families will integrate any educational activity or technology within their everyday activities.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:O'Malley, C.E.
Rodden, T.A.
Uncontrolled Keywords:homework, design, home, domestic, education, family
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:658
Deposited By:Ms K Fraser
Deposited On:09 Feb 2009 12:19
Last Modified:09 Feb 2009 12:19

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