The Class

Principal Investigators:

Associated Researchers and Staff:

This research project examines the emerging mix of on- and offline experiences in teenagers’ daily learning lives. We focus on the fluctuating web of peer-to-peer networks that may cut across institutional boundaries, adult values and established practices of learning and leisure. Key research questions include:

  • How do social relationships shape forms of learning in and out of school? And how do forms of learning shape social relationships?
  • How do young people use digital technologies within their daily activities within and beyond the classroom, as part of their ‘learning lives’, and under what conditions is this constructive, enabling or impeding?
  • How is youthful engagement with digital technologies shaped by the formal or informal practices, opportunities or risks, empowerment or constraints of the institutions and spaces in which learning occurs?
  • Insofar as these technological mediations enable or complement learning, can this be harnessed constructively to develop future recommendations?

Working with an ordinary London school, we will follow the networks within and beyond a single class of 13-14-year-olds at home, school and elsewhere over the course of an academic year – observing social interactions in and between lessons; conducting interviews with children, parents, teachers and relevant others; and mapping out-of-school engagements with digital networking technologies to reveal both patterns of use and the quality and meaning of such engagements as they shape the learning opportunities of young people.

Additional Resources



The Case for European Level Action on Child Safety Online

In advance of publication this week of a major new EU-Funded Research Report on EU Kids Online, Project Director Professor Sonia Livingstone reviews the case for EU action. In the UK there has been considerable activity to promote child safety and empowerment online, with key achievements coordinated by the UK Council of Child Internet Safety, informed by its Evidence Group. These achievements include the pioneering work of the Internet Watch Foundation, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centr

‘Making’ and Education Reform: Learning to Ride the Wave

At this moment in time, on both sides of the Atlantic, digital making and the maker movement is enjoying its time in the sun. A combination of policy concerns, technological developments, learning theories, social opportunities and articulate enthusiasts have come together and, although the maker movement is a bit of a minority sport, it seems to have broken through into the mainstream. In the UK, for example, there is a terrific program of support offering a range of activities from maker-faires to hacking

National Curriculum Needs more Attention to Digital Skills

A consultation is currently underway on England’s National Curriculum and LSE’s Sonia Livingstone has looked at the proposed framework and found it severely lacks appropriate coverage of digital skills. She argues that it also mistakenly continues to treat them solely as technological, disregarding important social aspects of online communication. The consultation framework document for England’s National Curriculum admirable includes among the aims for computing that of of ensuring that all pu

Network Members

Mimi Ito
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