College: College of Social Sciences and International Studies
I came to PhD research after two previous careers: firstly as a producer of factual television programmes and secondly as a teacher of English, Film and Media in secondary schools and further education. During this time, I developed a strong belief that media literacy should be a crucial element of schooling from the earliest years and became fascinated in understanding and providing contexts that would enable young children to become critical and creative media users, both as producers and audiences. With the rapid evolution of new media during this period, and evidence that children were being potentially connected to the online world via tablets and smartphones at ever-younger ages, my interest turned more specifically to online participation. My PhD has evolved in tandem with having my own family and working in a voluntary capacity in several primary schools in Exeter, and continues to be informed on the one hand by the daily background noise of anxieties and aspirations I hear and witness in playground, classroom and home environments, and on the other by theoretical perspectives from the fields of both digital literacies and digital wellbeing.