Read the first part of the paper (to the end of page 4).
Note the kinds of changes that the authors describe, and consider the extent to which these apply to your own practices and research interests.
Are there changes that the authors have not considered?
The transition to tablets, extensive and preferred use of Smartphone, hot desking in the home, in the home of friends at school so keeping everything online, but also sharing /exposing identities, a 21st openness and frankness in relation to gender, sexuality, individuality, beliefs, bullying, privilege and disadvantage. In my planned context if 'leakage' of content is highly likely then a randomized controlled trial is porbably undoable.
The history of informal learning and categories from home, games, clubs, apprenticeship with a social anthropological slant. Is it so different to the way people have always learnt in social groupings, the difference being that if you don’t have someone at your shoulder, you have them at your fingertips and in your head? Take for example the Boy Scout movement of 100 years ago. Even the ‘invention’ of games like football and rugby as a result of informal game-play. What can be learnt from looking at the take up of technologies, or new attitudes to learning in the past?
Is a tutorial an informal setting? Socrates in a discussion is preferable to Socrates as a TED lecture? The lessons from the 'Oxbridge Tutorial' of two/three to the workshop-like tutorials of 12+ at the Open University.
Is an extracurricular society a self-learn and informal setting?
Amateur dramatics (youth theatre), and youth orchestras, teens forming bands, sailing and swimming clubs all show young people learning together, picking up where adults leave off - or taking over as it suits the person rather than the age or cohort - as occurs online. Having something to talk about in the first place encourages its discussion.
Virtual worlds are not everyone’s cup of tea, or everyone’s opportunity (Eynon, 2012) 13% excluded, 4% of the remaining choosing NOT to use the Internet.
Counter impact of interloper by having participants briefed to undertake research.
Are the ways so new? As the Internet is a mirror to human behaviours online, the behaviours are the same though more akin to living in a close-knit community. ‘With brass knobs on’ - people can be rigidly themselves, alter egos, or even a different gender, age or cultural identity. (Kelly, 2011)
My own experience, very dismissive of, even reluctant to bring the classroom into any of these domains, indeed, it is anathema. However, during the Olympics, not surprisingly a few swimmers would say what they’d seen or followed in relation to their stroke or development as competitive athletes - mostly, ‘its not for me!’. A young adult art student, whilst he won’t adhere to his asthma medications, uses the sensation of being breathless in his art.
Observing online activities akin to similar in a boarding school setting - life skills learnt, but rarely to do with class work, my life and team skills, personal identity, coping mechanisms, learning from each other, forming opinions etc Eastbourne College, Mowden Hall School. In contrast to home life football practice, amateur theatre group, dance and so on …
The drivers that see a person transition from child to adult, and the sophistication of the brain makes these impacts of no less or more influence than anything that has occurred for previous generations, indeed, I’d contend that two World Wars, for those caught up in them would have had significantly more effect that anything the Internet can throw at an adolescent.
Eynon, R (2009) Mapping the digital divide in Britain: implications for learning and education.
Kelly, D (Forthcoming 2011) 'Karaoke’s Coming Home: Japan’s Empty Orchestras in the United Kingdom', Leisure Studies 30.