Vol. 13 - Issue 1 2017 - ISSN 1504-4831
Monday, 21 August 2017
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Volume 3 - issue 1 - 2007

Editorial volume 3 - issue 1: Wishes and hopes for the digital university.

editorial-vol3-iss1 A recent analysis of the “digital condition” of Norwegian higher education finds that a considerable number of teachers are willing to implement the use of technology in the classroom, but only to a limited degree. The study, which was carried out by the “Norway Opening University” (2006), found that there are no incentives for teachers in higher education to pursue and develop their use of technology. Research is still conceived of as far more rewarding than teaching. Another finding was that teachers and administrators lack knowledge about, and therefore have little belief in, the benefits of using technology. Younger teachers tend to use technology more than their older colleagues and the report suggests that they use technology more because they know more about the potentials of the technology. The report suggests that higher education institutions need to simplify the technology used and support academics more consistently. The report also suggests that such peer support will improve the chances of other academics finding the pedagogical use of ICT more legitimate and interesting. However, in the larger picture the report finds that academics have implemented technology to a significant degree. From being a marginal activity a decade and a half ago, it now influences the whole educational field in higher education.

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University teaching staff as learners of the pedagogical use of ICT

In this article, Erika Löfström and Anne Nevgi contribute to the underresearched field of educational thinking about, and pedagogical knowledge of, web-based teaching among university teachers. Building on theories of meaningful learning and an assumption that good teaching embraces an ability to adopt the learner role, the authors studied a group of teachers that participated in a web-based course. The findings show that the student experience turned out to be a powerful tool for the teachers, resulting in increased comprehension of course design and the learner role.  More focus was also put into content contextualizing and facilitating collaboration. Erika Löfström is Associate Professor at Tallinn University, and Post-Doc Researcher at the Centre for Research and Development of Higher Education at the University of Helsinki. Anne Nevgi is Senior Researcher at the same centre.
 
 

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The Digital Culture and -Peda-Socio- Transformation

Kristen Snyder explores the growing complexity of technology in human communication and its impact on learning and sense making.  Snyder presents a theoretical model called the Digital Culture that emerged from five years of empirical study about online social development and communication practices in a professional development program. Combining elements of communication and cultural theory with a social constructivist view of knowledge, Snyder suggest that the integration of technology in our human communication is altering the ways in which we make sense out of situations and information, which impacts learning. Snyder is a senior researcher at Mid Sweden University in Härnösand Sweden.

 

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Digitalized story-making in the classroom

- A social semiotic perspective on gender, multimodality and learning

Based on a case study of pupils in a fifth grade class and their creation of multimodal narratives, Håvard Skaar found notable gender differences. Asking how girls’ and boys’ story-telling differ and the implications for learning, Skaar observed the pupils when they were creating narratives by use of computers and also made a comparison with the pupils’ hand-written diaries. He found, among other things, that the boys typically preferred to use ready-made resources while the girls’ choices of signs in their stories were more related to own feelings and experiences. Using social semiotic theory as underpinning, Skaar concludes that the girls, through their personal involvement, seemed to learn more than the boys. Håvard Skaar is a research fellow at Oslo University College. 

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ICT in Swedish Schools 1984 - 2004: How computers work in the teachers- world

What has happened to ICT in schools over time is the question Gunilla Jedeskog addresses in this paper, and gives a qualitative analysis based on evaluation reports from four national campaigns in Sweden. By means of theories of levels and stages of innovation, Jedeskog emphasizes teacher involvement, time, technology and culture as important success factors in implementing ICT in schools. The schools’ role is changing, as the schoolwork, and Jedeskog sees a shift during the last two decades towards a more bottom-up approach, where human aspects, including teacher and student participation, have become more important. Gunilla Jedeskog is a senior lecturer at Linköping University.
 
 

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