Drawing digital pictures: An investigation of primary pupils' representations of ICT and schools

Neil Selwyn, Daniela Boraschi, Suay Melisa Ozkula

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


The relatively restricted nature of children s use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) inside the school setting has long been noted by researchers. With this in mind, this article offers a grounded analysis of drawings collected from 355 primary pupils (years three to six) from five English primary schools depicting desired future forms of school ICT provision. The article contends that the nature and content of these future orientated pictures reflect many of the tensions underlying children s current engagements with ICTs in school. Specifically the article discusses how the drawings offer valuable insights into the issues underlying pupils understandings of ICT and schools, not least: the restrictions of the school as organisation; the oppositional relationship between the work of learning in school and the play of using digital media at home; the unequal power relations that exist between pupils, schools and teachers. The article concludes that rather than accede to demands for free and unfettered use of game consoles and portable devices in the classroom, schools should instead concentrate on fostering informed dialogues with young people about the potential educational benefits of school ICT use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)909 - 928
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Cite this