In order to accomplish this, I intend to probe the available literature concerned with how young people utilise ICT, and particularly the Internet, as well as how parents manage their offspring in this regard. Thereafter, I aim to explore the attitudes to, and use of, technology of pupils of School N in their boarding houses, using a school-wide questionnaire, followed by four focus groups. Thereafter, I will interview my fellow Houseparents, the Pastoral Deputy Head and the Head of ICT. Using this mixed methods approach, I hope to analyse the possibility of improving the way technology is managed, within the framework of providing a comfortable domicile, whilst educating the pupils in the development of effective life habits in order to maximise academic achievement. To date, I have found this to be an ever-evolving challenge because technology is developing so fast, ‘The most difficult challenge for parents related to the new media-rich environment will be to assist their children and youngsters to make sense of and evaluate technologies and content, to find their balance, and to encourage their offspring to regulate themselves.’ (Hagen (2007:388).
Added to the normal negotiations between young people and their parents, there are additional factors for the Houseparent: finding an appropriate blend from a myriad of varying parental models and handling a range of ages, (in this case 13-18 year olds), nationalities and gender. The common denominator however, is that virtually all the pupils have their own computer, smartphone and sometimes, tablet. Some have their own private access to the Internet via a ‘Dongle’, whereas others access the Internet using the school wireless network. Thus, unlike some families, access is wide-ranging and total. The management dilemma is what form of regulation the Houseparent should assume. What is feasible given these ...Show more