NP3 News

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5-Sept-2017 - NP3 meta-analysis report published

NP3 Meta-analysis report cover.jpeg The NP3 meta-analysis report and a stand alone Executive summary have been published and are free to download from the NP3 website.

The report raises questions about assumptions about children's access to and use of ICT outside school, it suggests a gulf exists between children's digital practices outside school and pedagogic practice inside primary school (which is at least in part due to the curriculum, assessment and accountability regimes in schools), and it illustrates ways in which ICT is being used in primary schools.

Three frameworks are introduced: the Digital Practice Framework for analysing ICT use outside school, the ICT Innovation Framework for analysing ICT use inside schools, and the Innovative Pedagogy Framework for analysing practice inside schools.

Find out more from the NP3 website ...

4-Apr-2017 - NP3 discussion paper accepted for AERA

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Cliff Top Literacies - digital technologies supporting composing literacies in an English primary school is now available to download as a pdf. This paper has been accepted for inclusion in a symposium at AERA at the end of April 2017 - it looks at digital literacy practices in what some have called 'the austerity literacy model' within English primary schools. This paper is based on data from one of NP3's case study schools, a primary school in North East England.

Download the paper or have a look at some of the NP3 public reports.

30-Mar-2017 - NP3 symposium proposal accepted for WCCE

NP3 Overview diagram.jpg NP3's proposal for a symposium at the World Conference on Computers in Education has been accepted. Seven members of the NP3 team will be taking part in the symposium, which includes four papers looking at different aspects of digital practices and boundary crossing between home and school. Specifically:
  • Paper 1 frames the debate, explaining the key research questions that NP3 set out to investigate, how these questions emerged from previous research, the theoretical framing for the project, and its methodology
  • Paper 2 begins to explore digital practices in different arenas
  • Paper 3 Explores the role of parental perception in the mediation of children’s access to digital technology and spaces
  • Paper 4 looks at issues to do with social justice and pupils’ digital practices

Download the symposium proposal (which includes summaries of each of the papers)
Find out more about the World Conference ...

23-Mar-2017 - NP3 Case Study 4 public report published

NP3 CS4 Public report image 8.png The public report for Case Study 4 is now available to download as a pdf. This report focusses on a range of children's use of ICT outside school, as well as use of ICT inside a Year 2 and a Year 6 class in this community school in North East of England.

Download the report or look at the other NP3 public reports.

6-Mar-2017 - NP3 Exploratory Study 5 public report published

ES5 Tablet on table.jpg The public report for Exploratory Study 5 is now available to download as a pdf. This report focusses on a range of children's use of ICT outside school, as well as use of ICT inside two Year 6 classes in this Junior school in Central England.

Download the report or look at the other NP3 public reports.

27-Jan-2017 - NP3 Case Study 5 public report published

NP3 CS5 Child in PJs with tablet.jpg The public report for Case Study 5, which is an extension of Exploratory Study 8, is now available to download as a pdf. This report focusses on six ten and eleven year olds' use of ICT outside school, as well as use of ICT inside a Year 6 and an Early Years class in this community foundation school in Northern England.

download the report or look at the other NP3 public reports.

16-Dec-2016 - NP3 appoint new research fellow

Naima 2016 cropped.jpeg Naima Browne has been appointed as the full time research fellow for NP3.

She will be starting at the beginning of January and running through until the end of July 2017.
Naima is an experienced academic with particular expertise in the area of early years. Her prior research has been underpinned by a relativistic epistemology with a strong emphasis on 'participant voice' and co-construction of meaning. Naima will be playing a lead role in the analysis of the data that we have collected over the last 18 months and in the sharing of our findings as they emerge.

Find out more about NP3 ...

30-Nov-2016 - Cliff Top Literacies - NP3 paper accepted for submission at AERA 2017

NP3 AERA Jellyfish copy.jpg Cliff Top Literacies: Digital technologies supporting composing literacies in an English primary (elementary) school by Julia Gillen has been accepted for inclusion in the AERA annual conference in San Antonio, Texas next April. The paper, which is based on data from one of the NP3 study schools, provides 'multimodal vignettes' of digital composition practices in the school, involving children spanning the five to eleven age range. The paper hints at the diversity in children's out of school practices which often blur the boundaries between the digital and physical worlds. It argues that the vignettes illustrate how the school mitigates the mandatory 'literacy' curriculum (with its focus on standardised assessment of spelling, punctuation and grammar) in order to prioritise the needs, values and interests of the pupils.

Read the summary of the paper that was submitted to AERA

10-Nov-2016 - Lancaster Uni MA students grapple with NP3 related issues

Lancaster Poster 1.jpg Lancaster poster 2.jpg At Lancaster University students on an MA module “Language, Literacies and Digital Communication” have been considering some of the issues facing schools and young people in the face of an ever changing landscape of digital technologies. Led by Julia Gillen, they have been grappling with the some of the same issues as the NP3 project. In class on November 4th 2016 they produced these posters in small groups in response to considering “The gap between the digital literacy practices of children and young people at home and school: why is this a problem? What can schools/colleges etc do about it?”

Check out all four posters

31-Oct-2016 - The Open University are recruiting a research fellow to work on NP3

We need you.jpg
Find out more

Are you interested in exploring children’s digital practices outside school and the extent to which these are recognised, valued and influence practice inside primary schools?
Do you have qualitative research expertise in education or an allied field?
Are you a dynamic, reliable, efficient, and fun person to work with?
Can you work independently as well as being great at managing collaborative projects?
Is your academic writing convincing, accessible and engaging?
Are you a whizz with ICT (or at least quick to master new software)?
Are you available to work from Jan to July 2017?
If you answered yes to all those questions then we want you on our team.

21-Sept-2016 - NP3 keynote at Naace Conference

Naace Conf Oct 2016 - NP3 assessment 16-10-11 v5.jpg Peter Twining gave a keynote at the Naace London Conference entitled 'Children's digital practices, pedagogy & assessment - revolution, stasis & constraints' in which he started to outline some of the tentative, emerging findings from NP3.

Download a PDF version of the presentation

21-Oct-2016 - NP3 on Radio Lancashire

Julia Gillen was interviewed for the Graham Liver morning show on BBC Radio Lancashire this morning about issues to do with children reading and technology. In her response Julia drew on emerging findings from NP3. She was following an ex-teacher who claimed that pupils can't read and that is the fault of new technology (which seems to reinforce the view that schools are digitally blind)

19-Sept-2016 - NP3 case studies

Flickingerbard 6660037429 19de73c589.png The NP3 project is entering its final phase of data collection - in which we will be working with 8 primary schools in the UK that have been identified as using ICT effectively to enhance learning across the curriculum.

This phase of the project builds upon the findings emerging from the initial Exploratory studies (download the reports) - adding greater depth to the data and more tightly focussing on:

  • the digital competences that children are developing outside school (rather than 'just' their ICT activities);
  • social justice issues; and
  • the factors that impact on the extent to which practices in schools are influenced by pupils' digital practices outside school.

If you know of schools that would make good case studies then please let us know by emailing Peter.Twining at the Open University (

11-Aug-2016 - Call for UK schools to embrace technologies

Locked out image.jpg Prof Teresa Cremin and Prof Peter Twining argue that there is often a mismatch between the IT skills school children develop in their homes and their opportunities to develop them further at school.

Watch the video ...

23-June-2016 - PeterT presents a keynote at IT16

IT16 PeterT keynote 16-06-23.jpg PeterT presented a keynote at IT16 on the 23rd June, looking at ICT strategies in schools and emerging data from NP3. The full set of slides for PeterT's talk (and that of other speakers) will be available from the conference website.

Tim Rylands was the other keynote speaker, and as is his normal practice he has provided a web-page with lots of info to support ICT use in schools.

2-Jun-2016 - NP3 Exploratory Study Public Reports now available to download!

The NP3 team are now publishing the public reports for each of the 10 Exploratory Study Schools. These are brief, anonymised reports which discuss the children's digital practices outside of school and the extent to which these have influenced teaching and learning in school and outlines the ways in which digital technology is used across the curriculum. Download the reports so far.

23-May-2016 - What can we learn from The Class?

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An interesting article on a day in the life of teenagers which suggests teenagers actively avoid 'the digital embrace of their schools', asserting their agency as to when and how they engage online. The article is based on the findings from the research project The Class, led by Sonia Livingstone at the London School of Economics and Political Science, looking at (in part) how young people use digital technologies within their daily activities within and beyond the classroom.

18-May-2016 - The use of Swivls for data capture

Fiona Henry met with Gytis Cibulskis, Head of E-Learning Technology Centre at Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania) and Vaidotas Trinkunas, Head of Distance Studies Centre at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University to discuss the use of Swivls as a research tool to gather data in school settings, both as part of the NP3 case studies and beyond.

26-Apr-2016 - How can teachers be encouraged to embed pupils' ICT practices within classrooms?

Home use slide.jpg

PeterT is on the panel at the Westminster Educational Forum in London, talking about how teachers can be encouraged to build upon the digital practices that pupils are developing outside school, in order to enhance their pedagogy. This draws upon work by the Educational Technology Action Group (ETAG), supported by additional data from NP3.

A transcript of the discussions will be published on the Westminster Education Forum website shortly after the event.

24-March-2016 - NP3 Keynote at a meeting of The European Cooperation in Science and Technology

NP3 ES9 Teacher B observation image 15-12-10 3 cropped.jpg
User:JuliaG presented a keynote paper at the third meeting of the The Digital Literacy and Multimodal Practices of Young Children group (DigilitEY), which is part of the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST). The event was held in Larnaca, Cyprus on 17-18 March 2016. Julia's paper was called "NP3: New purposes, new practices, new pedagogy: Enhancing learning lives with digital literacies in the Early Years" and built on some early findings from the NP3 project.

23-March-2016 - What can we learn from AltSchool?

A recent article in the New Yorker magazine about AltSchool - a small chain of private schools in the US set up by Silicon Valley entrepeneurs- suggests this school is potentially interesting to the NP3 project. Digital technology is apparently embedded in the curriculum and their child-centred approach appears empowering to children as learners. Yet the school is private so it is likely to be free of many contraints that affect state schools in the US and UK. But there is still food for thought in what they do - more info here. Have a read and let us know what you think [[1]]!

23-March-2016 - Analysing and reporting on the Exploratory Studies

The NP3 team are currently analysing data from the 10 exploratory studies and writing internal reports. Some these drafts are now complete and Don Passey is doing a second analysis of each exploratory study to check the consistency of coding and interpretation. The next step will be to produce final exploratory study internal reports which will feed into our meta-analysis. We will also be producing short external reports for each of the 10 schools which will provide a useful external perspective on children's ICT practices outside school and the extent to and ways in which these are built upon by teachers.

9-March-2016 - Research seminar at Lancaster University

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PeterT led a research seminar at Lancaster University on the 9th March in which he explored dimensions of practice as tools to enable description and thus comparison of practice across settings. This work drew on the Vital and Snapshot Studies, and emerging work on NP3.
  • How would you describe each of these classes?
  • What are the key pedagogical differences between them?

Discuss these questions ...
and/or Check out all the slides from the presentation
and/or Watch the video of the seminar

22-Feb-2016 - Developing a coding framework for data analysis

We have now developed a coding framework to analyse the Exploratory Study Data.

The NP3 team have been developing a common coding framework to analyse the NP3 data with. It has taken many hours of discussion to develop something which a)enables us to answer the research questions b)reflects our socio-cultural theoretical approach and c) reflects our data and emerging interpretations. We now have a framework to move forward with for the exploratory studies which focus on describing childrens digital technology practices and the extent to which teachers recognise, value and build on these in their pedagogy. However, many of the codes will also help us to analyse the case studies as they are also about the nature of pedagogy, children's agency as learners, teacher positioning and the flow of practices between non-formal, formal and informal domains. The picture shows one of many theoretical tools we used to devise our coding framework, which comes from Prof Peter Twinings previous work. The work of coding data is well underway. Meanwhile our consultants have been analysing data without the coding framework but we will all be using the common framework for the case studies to ensure consistency.

Check out the NP3 Code System (in Google Docs) and/or Comment on the NP3 Code system

01-Feb-2016 - Analysing the NP3 Exploratory Study Data

Qualitative data analysis.png The NP3 team are currently analysing the data we have collected for the 10 exploratory study schools.

One of the challenges is how to most efficiently and effectively analyse the large amount of very rich data when we are several researchers working on different platforms. After some research and trying out different software options we have decided on MAXQDA. It is software for qualitative analysis and one of its advantages for us is that it works across different platforms (we are both apple and pc users). You can also analyse audio recordings without having to transcribe them and photos - which we have many of. Right now we are developing the coding framework and our plan is for a researcher to analyse data for each case study (in most cases, the data they collected). Don Passey will then be carrying out a secondary analysis on all the data during March 2016.

21-Jan-2016 - NP3 presentation at Cambridge Primary Review Trust London Network meeting

Photo.jpg Amelia H-J gave a presentation at the Cambridge Primary Review Trust London Network Meeting on ICT, pedagogy and dialogic teaching.

This meeting was attended by staff from London primary schools who are interested in engaging with innovative and evidence-based teaching practices. Amelia's presentation provided an update on where the NP3 project is at and invited schools to contact her if they are interested in taking part. Her presentation complemented a presentation by the head teacher Paul Jordan from Thames View Infant School about how they are using ICT innovatively as a tool integrated into their dialogic teaching style.

18-Jan-2016 - BETT Study Tour

What is possible.jpg PeterT gave a presentation at the BETT Study Tour in London entitled "ICT in Schools: Why does it matter and what is possible?'.

This built on his research on digital technology strategies in schools, including the Vital Case Studies, Australian Snapshot Studies and emerging data from the NP3 Exploratory Studies.
Download the slides as a pdf ...

16-Nov-2015 - ICT supporting learning across the Highlands

The work of the Highland Council on using ICT to enhance learning across the curriculum in schools in the Highlands of Scotland (which includes the use of Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and a range of related mobile technology) has been praised in an Early Day Motion to parliament (in Westminster). We are hoping to work with some school involved in these initiatives - and would love to hear from any school (particularly primary schools) who are using digital technology in ways that extend or transform practice. You can tell us about what you are doing by:

6-Nov-2015 - NP3 present at Naace networking event

NP3 Naace Networking event v0-2 Title slide.jpg PeterT gave a presentation at the Naace networking event in Nottingham entitled 'New Purposes, New Practices, New Pedagogies' which outlined the NP3 research and encouraged Naace members to engage with the project (and
Download the slides

14-Oct-2015 - NP3 present at NEN Conference

Where are ICT strategies heading.jpg PeterT gave a keynote at the NEN (The Education Network) Conference entitled 'Digital Technology Strategies in Schools: Looking back - looking forward' which summarised some of the dimensions of practice that emerged from the Vital and Snapshot Studies, before going on to outline the NP3 research.

Download the slides

Older news

Date News item
2-Oct-15 NP3 Exploratory Study methodology published

The methodology being used for the NP3 Exploratory Studies has been published. The provides an overview of the data collection and access to all of the data collection instruments and guidelines. Find out more ...

29-Sep-15 NP3 Exploratory Study Briefing

Researchers involved in the NP3 Exploratory Studies met today in Milton Keynes to work through the research methodology and practical arrangements for the NP3 Exploratory Studies. These studies will be looking at pedagogy across at least 10 schools (20 teachers/classes) in the Autumn Term 2015. If your school is interested in taking part in the research then contact Peter Twining or Fiona Henry both of whom are at the Open University (so have email addresses in the format firstname.lastname<at>

NP3 Research questions.jpg
NP3 Launch Event

NP3 was officially launched at an event at the Open University in Milton Keynes on the 7th September 2015 - download the PowerPoint slides as a pdf

02-Sep-15 Developing tools for collecting data in Exploratory Study schools

The NP3 team are in the process of developing tools to collect data in the Exploratory Study schools - we'll keep you updated here when we have them ready. We are also developing criteria for selecting the 20 schools out of all the schools that express interest in the project and/or fill in the YOTSS survey. We're still looking for schools who are making interesting use of mobile technology in schools and willing to take part in NP3. Find out more and tell us about your school

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Still looking for schools

We're still looking for schools who are making interesting use of mobile technology in schools and willing to take part in NP3. Find out more and tell us about your school

10-June-2015 Naace & NP3 collaborating

Naace is collaborating with NP3 to help identify schools who are doing interesting things with digital technology. Specifically they are helping to promote the Your Organisation's Technology Strategy Survey (YOTSS) the results of which will help provide an overview of the extent to which schools across the UK are allowing/encouraging/requiring pupils to use mobile devices in school to support their learning. Find out more and join the emerging NP3 community by signing up for an account on (mouse is the correct answer).

18-May-2015 NP3 awarded £200k

The Society for Educational Studies has awarded £200,000 to the Open University in collaboration with Lancaster University for this research project, which will investigate the ways in which the digital technology competences that young people develop outside school come to be recognised and valued by primary school teachers, leading to changes in practices in primary schools.

The project team is led by Peter Twining at the Open University. The funding runs from the 1st June 2015 until the 30th May 2017.