As part of the second year of Futurelab’s Digital Participation Project, a group of young people from Clevedon School were supported to develop research skills and to undertake independent research which they felt would contribute to growing knowledge in the digital literacy research field.
There is increasing interest in how young people can develop the critical practices of digital literacy that enable the creation, sharing and understanding of meaning and that support participation in social, cultural, civic, economic and political life in an increasingly digital age.
Most of the research in this area is undertaken and reported by adults. Arguably, it is young people themselves however who can best understand their experiences of digital participation. These understandings are important in considering the sorts of support young people might want and need in order to develop the knowledge and understanding needed to be critical, creative and discerning users of digital technologies.
The aim of the Young People’s Research Group was to undertake research that they felt would inform others of the sorts issues young people might need support with in order to develop their digital literacy. Ten students from Clevedon School attended a series of participatory workshops in which they discussed the nature of research, learnt about different research methods and worked with Futurelab researchers to:
- develop their own research questions into young people’s digital practices
- undertake their own original, independent research projects
- analyse the results of their research
- publish their findings in the format of their choice
The project was undertaken between September and December 2010 by a Futurelab researcher Sarah Payton and research assistant Martha Wright working with Stacey Davis (Yr 9), Benedikta Fones (Yr 10), Liam Jack Gould (Yr 11), Rafia Haque (Yr 10), Nathan Haughton (Yr 10), Tom Mousdale Weaver (Yr 10), Pearse Murphy (Yr 10), Lucy Pope (Yr 11), James Ruffle (Yr 11) and Macaulay Smith (Yr 11). We would like to thank Jim Smith, Assistant Headteacher at Clevedon School for his support.