Bringing digital literacies to students in prison: challenges and opportunities

Farley, Helen and Pike, Anne and Hopkins, Susan ORCID: and Byrne, Catherine (2015) Bringing digital literacies to students in prison: challenges and opportunities. In: 15th European Prison Education Association Training Conference: Unlocking Innovation in Education in Prison (EPEA 2015), 30 Sept-4 Oct 2015, Antwerp, Belgium.


Every aspect of our leisure, work and study lives are being infiltrated by digital technologies. We update our statuses regularly on Facebook, tweet about our latest excursion, students use mobile phones or tablets to study on course materials or submit assessment and in the workplace, computers are a staple of many vocations. Technology and connectivity have become ubiquitous, with the relative cost of both declining as their popularity increases.

But what of those in prison? Given the paucity of technology and Internet connectivity in most prisons, how do prisoners cope with their studies and the hyper-connected world on their release from custody? How can students in prison successfully transition to further study and the workplace upon release?

This workshop explores the issues around facilitating the development of digital literacies for students in prison and will be relevant to practitioners, researchers and managers of prison education. It outlines innovative solutions from two higher education institutions on opposite sides of the world, both with a track record of providing and researching post-compulsory education to prisoners. Findings from a number of funded projects which introduce interactive and mobile technologies for learning in prisons in Australia and the UK are presented. Strategies for overcoming some of the challenges both in prison and after release will be discussed, along with some of the exciting opportunities which are opening up through collaboration.

Prospective workshop participants will be encouraged to fill in a survey before the workshop starts, so that the facilitators can tailor the workshop to the needs of the participants (no personal information will be recorded).

The link to the survey is here: The workshop will feature interactive polling, small group discussion and sharing of good practice. Outcomes from the workshop will be shared on a workshop wiki page ( which participants can continue to monitor and supplement after the workshop.

Participants can also familiarise themselves with the latest information on this topic from around the world here:

Statistics for USQ ePrint 28724
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Abstract only published in Proceedings.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Australian Digital Futures Institute (8 Dec 2010 - 6 Jul 2016)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Australian Digital Futures Institute (8 Dec 2010 - 6 Jul 2016)
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2016 23:32
Last Modified: 27 Feb 2017 23:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: educational technology; correctional education; prison education; learning management system; digital literacy
Fields of Research (2008): 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
16 Studies in Human Society > 1602 Criminology > 160202 Correctional Theory, Offender Treatment and Rehabilitation
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390405 Educational technology and computing
39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4402 Criminology > 440202 Correctional theory, offender treatment and rehabilitation
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only