What we did
We asked students to make videos where they share with us how they use their mobile phones. We asked them to do this either on their phones or using video cameras they had. We received a selection of videos – not from all children – but from the children who felt comfortable to share their stories and often from students who worked together as a group. The production of videos didn’t seem to be too complicated for the students, the video material was at times edited and prepared at quite a sophisticated level.
Our reflection on how it went
- We used students’ videos in an attempt to work closer with them and to identify different opportunities for dialogue
- We felt that video productions orchestrated by children provide more opportunities for ‘giving voice’
- The video productions allowed the children to give insights also into creative interpretations of young people’s experiences, feelings and how they see themselves operating amongst adults
- However, we are aware that this is still an orchestrated process, largely steered by adults (researchers/teachers) and their interests and categories (James 2007)
- Students have acted within the bounds of defined school community practices
Take away message for researchers
Young people need to have more opportunities to share with researchers (adults) their ideas to show what they know and can do.
Recording films on mobile phones gives children and young people the opportunity to select and capture, edit and share stories in creative and personal ways.
Films produced this way provide an opportunity to discuss and find out more, about a given topic but also about the person/s. and their ideas. We found this worked really well when we asked children to tell us about the role mobile phones play in their lives.