27 SES 05 B, Learning Environments : Spaces, Social Organisations and Self-Efficacy Developement
Today, digital technology is present in schools and universities; eBooks, interactive blackboards, tablets or notebooks are now commonplace in Europe’s classrooms. However, when using this technology, students are typically positioned as consumers. In an effort to change this tendency, our project draws on DIY culture, encouraging students to become producers of digital objects. We believe that students and educational institutions need to foster learning experiences that support learners' critical capacity. This is not a goal that can be achieved by using only one platform or tool. Instead, true digital competence means using available devices with pedagogical approaches such as "flipped learning" (Bergmann & Sans, 2012) or transdisciplinary inquiry-based projects, which guide young people to grow into active and thoughtful learners.
This communication will discuss the actions and results of the first year of the three-year European project “Do it yourself in Education: expanding digital competence to foster student agency and collaborative learning (DIYLab)”. The main objective of this project is to promote lifelong and life-wide learning by expanding students’ digital competence, agency, and creativity, by putting into practice DIY philosophies (Guzzetti, Elliott, & Welsch, 2010; Lankshear & Knobel, 2010). Initiated in January 2014, researchers and primary and secondary schools and universities in Spain, Finland and the Czech Republic will have finished the first and begun the second phases of the project by the time of this communication in September.
The DIYLab project will develop a 'DIYHub' in each participating educational centre to promote primary, secondary and higher education student engagement by proposing collaborative, meaningful and authentic learning experiences that can be sustainable and expandable after the end of the project. This practice will depend on the use and implementation of different technologies as tools (video editing software, mobile/flexible applications, html5-based services for learning, etc.), and the dissemination and construction of a DIY community (Kafai & Peppler, 2011) in an open, on-line platform.
The first phase of this project entails working with focus groups (Stewart, 2007) of teachers, students and parents in order to understand what practices are already in place in each participating context. This sets up an action research approach based on an ongoing dialogical process of analysis and practice. This position supports sustainability by allowing local knowledge to inform and guide the process. Our communication will discuss the preliminary results of this stage, including: the working definitions of DIY education developed in each context, the state of the DIY ethic in each context as reported by the focus groups, and the initial technical design of the DIY Labs that will be implemented starting in January 2015. We will also make recommendations for developing DIY Labs based on our experience in each educational centre. The second phase of the project entails the formation of participating teachers and school administrators in support of the implementation of the DIY Lab. The communication will discuss the design for the formation period and our approach to implementing DIYLabs in primary, secondary and higher education. We will review the main obstacles schools face and provide an analysis of ways that schools can best integrate the DIY ethic into their centres to support digital competence.
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SHARP, D. (2006). Participatory Cultural Production and the DIY Internet: From Theory to Practice and Back Again. Media International Australia, Incorporating Culture & Policy, 118: 16-24. Availability:
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