06 SES 06 A, Media Culture in Schools
This research project is part of a larger project that aims at producing new knowledge about how use of new media affect conditions for upbringing and socialization in the era of "mediatization". The project focuses on dilemmas concerning media freedoms and prohibitions. The project has a critical stance towards the notion of "mediatization" being a deterministic process, and will focus how people interact on a social and political level to customize, counter, adjust and humanize media technologies.
The main research question is: How do schools argue for and practice banning of mobile phones, and what are their perspectives for the future development?
The point of departure will be with schools who have banned mobile phones to ensure that children refrain from cyberbullying and other counterproductive “digital distractions”. We intend to find out how these schools came to this decision (with input also from students and parents), how they evaluate the effects and how they monitor the policy. We also want to find out how use of mobile phones relates to how the monitoring of “digital distractions” using PCs and Internet during schooling.
Problems like this tend to be addressed in two ways; in terms of class curricula and individual freedoms. First, using ICT has become one of the five core competencies in Norwegian education, and large sums of money are used on equipment, implementation and training teachers to make ICT become a tool for learning in each subject. Second, the focus on the learner and the child-centered curriculum is a reflex of the “freedom revolution” on behalf of the children. Since the middle of the 1970s children have been granted more rights to be consulted in decisions affecting their own lives, they have a stronger say in schools and families, and parental and teacher authority have consequently both been diminished (Thuen, 2008; Haugsbakk, 2010; Biesta, 2006).
A dominant, optimistic view highlights how mobile devices “have the potential to facilitate almost any educational experience” (The New Media Consortium/The Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education, 2013). Such assertions have been met with skepticism in several countries. Schools in UK report that pupil behaviour is better and bullying is down since mobiles were banned from schools (Barham & Moss, 2012). A Council of Europe committee concluded that cell phones and wireless Internet pose a health risk and should be banned from schools (Mercola, 2011). In a survey of 126 out of 817 Norwegian secondary schools 38% of schools report to be negative to the students’ use of social media in the classroom (Pedersen, 2014). PhD research have concluded that students spend too much time using social media at school when compared to more conventional learning activities (Slettholm, Svarstad & Færaas, 2014).
The broader and more theoretical context for the project is the challenge processes of “mediatization” poses to conventions of upbringing and socialization. Theories of “Bildung” have been constantly modernized to accommodate to the ongoing process of how new media expands the ability to communicate between human beings in time and space. Reaching a state of becoming a mature and reflected person needs to encompass the consequences of how media substitute actions formerly performed face to face, alters patterns of communication in daily life, and changes the ways people relate and communicate in profound ways (Hjarvard, 2008; Haugsbakk & Nordkvelle, 2011).
Barham, P. & Moss, M. (2012). Should mobile phones be banned in schools? The Guardian, 27.11.2012. http://www.theguardian.com/education/2012/nov/27/should-mobiles-be-banned-schools Biesta, G. (2006). Bortom lärandet. Demokratisk utbildning för en mänsklig framtid. Lund: Studentlitteratur. Haugsbakk, G. (2010). Digital skole på sviktende grunn – om nye muligheter og dilemmaer. Oslo: Gyldendal Akademisk. Haugsbakk, G. & Nordkvelle, Y. (2011). Nye medier og danning. In: Steinsholt, K. & Dobson, S. (eds.), Dannelse. Introduksjon til et ullent pedagogisk landskap (pp.339-358). Trondheim: Tapir Akademisk Forlag. Heath, C.; Hindmarsh, J. & Luff, P. (2010). Video in Qualitative research. Analysing Social Interaction in Everyday Life. London: Sage. Hjarvard, S. (2008). The Mediatization of Society. “A Theory of the Media as Agents of Social and Cultural Change”. Nordicom Review. 29(2), 105-134. Mercola (2011). European Leaders Call for Ban of Cell Phones and WiFi in Schools. Mercola.com, 02.07.2011. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/06/02/european-leaders-call-for-an-of-cell-phones -and-wifiin-schools.aspx Noffke, S. & Somekh, B. (2005). Action Research. In: B.Somekh & C.Lewin (eds), Research Methods in the Social Sciences (p.89-96). Los Angeles: Sage. Pedersen, O.P. (2014). Skepsis til sosiale medier. Kommunal Rapport, 23.01.2014. Slettholm,A. Svarstad, J. & Færaas, A. (2014). PC-bruk i timene: Facebook, spill, blogger, chat, nettaviser og litt fag. Aftenposten,13.01.2014. http://www.aftenposten.no/iriks/PC-bruk-i-timene-Facebook_-spill_-blogger_-chat_-nettaviser-og-litt-fag-7432441.html#.UvjdeWJ5N8E The New Media Consortium/The Norwegian Centre for ICT in Education (2013). The Technology Outlook for Norwegian Schools 2013-2018. An NMC Horizon Project Regional Analysis. http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2013-technology-outlook-for-norwegian-schools-EN.pdf Thuen, H. (2008). Om Barnet. Oppdragelse, opplæring og omsorg gjennom historien. Oslo: Abstrakt forlag
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