Centre for Technology Enchanced Learning
Department of Educational Research, County South, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YD, UK
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Educational Research > Centre for Technology Enhanced Learning > Research themes>Digital technologies and learners who find it hard to learn

Digital technologies and learners who find it hard to learn

Research theme

Inclusive Technology Enhanced Learning Book CoverDigital technologies are commonly said to engage learners. Elements of our research have been focally concerned with exploring the claims and issues concerned with this area. We have looked at groups of young people in formal settings that have found it difficult to focus on learning, as well as groups of young people who are not employed, or in education or training. We have looked at ways to use digital technologies to support their learning, in the longer-term as well as in the shorter-term.

A UK government agency (BECTA) commissioned research (from Don Passey, Sadie Williams and Colin Rogers) about the role of ICT in re-engaging groups of young people who are not employed, or in education or training.

A BECTA manager commented that the research, with its "thorough and concise" report, "found that there is potential for ICT to be used as a tool to re-engage this specific group of young people but used at the right time and in the right way, for example, to facilitate practical and creative types of learning or to assist young people in making decisions about their lives. ”

Also on the theme of the needs of young people who are not in employment, education or training was the evaluation of the Go Create intervention study (by Don Passey, Paul Davies and Colin Rogers) for Sunderland Local Authority which was complemented by its commissioner for "provid[ing] a very high level of professional advice, support and guidance to Connexions throughout [the] project which enabled research outcomes to be thoroughly evaluated and recommendations to be made.”

Don Passey explored some of key issues affecting these groups of young people in a chapter entitled " Management information systems supporting youth at risk and the hard to engage".

Sue Cranmer has conducted qualitative research on how excluded young people use digital technologies and has written about their experiences of e-safety and risk.

Staff working on this theme


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Forthcoming conferences with Centre members on organising or programme committees:

11th International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age

Porto, Portugal
25-27 October 2014

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International Conference on Educational Technologies

New Taipei City, Taiwan
10-12 December 2014

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International Conference on e-Learning in the workplace

New York City, USA
11-13 June 2015

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