This article is based on aproject aimed at generating practicalsuggestions based on research findings abouthow new technologies might be used to enhanceL1 literacy attainment in disadvantagedsettings. The project involved designing,implementing and researching an innovativeapproach to curriculum and pedagogy using newdigital technologies in language and literacyeducation within classroom settings involvingsmall groups of ''disadvantaged'' learners. Thepaper reports activity and findings from one offour study sites. It focuses on four Grade 9boys seen by their teachers as troublemakersand at risk of failing in English. Theresearchers draw on current conceptual andtheoretical work associated with the emergenceof an Attention Economy theory to design acollaborative activity around constructing awebsite, and to identify and analyse positiveliteracy learning outcomes associated with thepedagogical approach taken. The authors showhow this new perspective on attention informs acritique of conventional approaches to schoolorganization and classroom learning, and how itcan be used to envisage alternative approachesto understanding and teaching students whodisplay literacy learning difficulties atschool.
Against the background of Michael Kamil and Sam Intrator’s landmark reviews of research about new technologies and literacy development, this article maps recent research concerned specifically with the 0–8 years age group. Drawing on databases of research conducted in North America, Britain and Australasia, it affirms that the early childhood dimension is even more radically underresearched than other age ranges with respect to new technologies and literacy development. The authors develop an analytic framework comprising four quadrants to categorize the various studies conducted in the early childhood age range, and assign these to their appropriate quadrants. This reveals a lopsided distribution of the meagre corpus of studies available. The article provides a map of the field against which early childhood educators can judge ‘at a glance’ how far their personal areas of interest are served by existing research. It simultaneously pinpoints areas where new research is needed to fill important gaps.