Tom went to the beach and transformed into a robot

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Today I spoke to a group of boys, to gain an understanding of their attitudes to writing. I carried out paired interviews in the hope that they would be confident enough to talk in front of their friends about their feelings! Despite my concerns that the ‘macho’ side of the male gender may have prevented them from sharing their feelings they actually were very keen to share their views and gave me an interesting insight into their attitudes to writing, both in school and at home.

All the boys felt similarly towards writing in general, seeing it as something they have to do, rather than an enjoyable process. However within this, when exploring the aspects they do like about writing, interestingly for 2 of the boys, story writing gives them a particular sense of enjoyment. One boy justifies: “you can make it anything you want…you could say…Tom went to the beach and transformed into a robot…or you could do anything” and the other one agrees, stating, “you can make it as crazy as possible”. Similarly, the other 2 boys discussed poetry as an enjoyable aspect of writing as they could make them funny. Comedy was a recurring theme in their discussions.

I have not had the chance to consider their responses in great detail as yet, however there are some aspects that already seem very interesting. All children had profiles on at least 2 social networking sites, and from my conversations with many young people, this reflects the masses. One boy, discussed how using a computer without the internet is boring because you can only go on the boring games that come with the laptop and other conversations with children show the value they place on online gaming through services such as xbox live. Clearly internet access is an important aspect of children’s lives. From general passing discussions with children it is also clear that social networking sites are becoming a natural part of their online worlds.

One statement that struck me as summing up the opportunities children’s access to the internet brings in terms of learning and information came during a discussion about the internet and its uses at home. “If youre doing your homework you can search something up.” The google generation no longer ‘look‘ for information, they ‘search‘ for it. Whilst this is seemingly simple and meaningless it could perhaps be viewed as the complete opposite. To me, the word ‘search’ implies a more active approach to the sourcing of information, a more empowering exploration through avenues of information led by the development of technology. New technologies allows for the active sourcing of information, information 2.0 rather than the traditional, ‘old school’ information 1.0 whereby we ‘look‘ at books, or teachers for the true information.

I have lost my train of thought here as it is too late to be awake!

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