“drawing can be seen as an inherently child-centred procedure, with the non-verbal nature of drawings freeing the child to express emotions and attitudes that would be otherwise difficult to assess" (see also Fury et al., 1997; MacPhail & Kinchin, 2004 quoted in Selwyn 2009).
Secondly, Selwyn has concentrated on surveying student perceptions of ICT use both at home and school and considers the relationships between these two types of use. His work depicts a bleak picture for primary students in these studies, disengaged from ICT use at school and with no evidence of the transforming and empowering influence of classroom ICT use often claimed by education technology commentators. Various important themes emerge from these works:
- Primary teachers are more technically confident and more likely to make regular use of ICT in their teaching than their secondary school counterparts (Barker & Gardiner, 2007; BESA, 2007 quoted in Selywn 2009b) but there is a strong sense school ICT use being shaped by the nature of individual schools.
- The dominant school mode of ICT engagement is direct instruction rather than construction of knowledge, with computer work mainly involving writing-up , making presentations and, for older children, spreadsheet and database work (2009b, p. 928)
- There was a lack of evidence of the use of Web 2.0 applications both inside and outside of school. This strongly contrasts the hype about "digital natives" collaborating on the Internet.
- Importing popular outside-school, digital practices and artefacts as a means of engaging students may actually backfire. At the same time, developing forms of classroom technology provision that fit better with the needs, values and experiences of young people is only possible through meaningful dialogues with pupils about their home use of ICT and future forms of educational ICT use.
- In Selwyn's analysis of students' drawings of school ICT use, personal ownership, play, fun were the strongest themes to emerge from the data in terms of what students wanted in the classroom of the future. There was also a pleading tone from the students and an understanding that school restrictions of ICT such as filtered Internet access were unlikely to change.
Selwyn, N., Boraschi, D. & Ozkula, S.M., 2009. Drawing digital pictures: an investigation of primary pupils' representations of ICT and schools. British Educational Research Journal, 35(6), 909-928.
Selwyn,N. , Potter, J. & Cranmer,S., 2009b Primary pupils’ use of information and communication
technologies at school and home. British Journal of Educational Technology Vol 40 No 5, 919–932.