Jones, Ann and Price, Emma
(2001). Bubble dialogue: using a computer application to investigate social information processing in children with emotional and behavioural difficulties.
In: Hutchby, Ian and Moran-Ellis, Jo eds.
Children, technology and culture: the impacts of technologies in children's everyday lives.
The Future of childhood.
UK: Falmer Press, pp. 133–150.
This chapter is concerned with how we might use and harness our technological culture to support children with emotional and behavioural difficulties (EBD) and in particular to help them to communicate their views. Computers are a common, everyday part of many children's lives and a technology that most feel very comfortable with and find engaging. In particular, the chapter discusses the use of a computer application, Bubble Dialogue, that can support children’s communication by allowing children to construct a narrative that reflects the child's view of the world. It starts with a brief review of different approaches to understanding the problems that children with EBD have in negotiating social situations. It then discusses the use of computers to help children deal with social and emotional issues in their lives and introduces the Bubble Dialogue application. This application has allowed us to investigate the dialogue that children create in role-playing social situations. The rest of the chapter draws on a comparative study that was undertaken of the use of Bubble Dialogue by a group of children with EBD and children who attend a mainstream school. The study focused on the children’s self-expression and the strategies they used to resolve interpersonal conflicts. The results of this study are discussed and work with practitioners (teachers and social workers) who have also been using Bubble Dialogue to work with individual children is also briefly discussed. Their experiences are drawn on to discuss the possibilities for using tools such as Bubble Dialogue to develop ways of analysing the child’s interpretation and perspective of the world in contexts relevant to the child, which could present an opportunity to tailor help to particular children.
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