16 SES 02 A, Research on ICT and Teacher Training, Including Pre-service Teachers / Teacher Students
Teaching technology in a rapidly changing technological world requires necessary digital skills. These skills change as technology changes and need to change to keep up with changes. An understanding of these skills and how they form is important for teacher education to prepare students for their future profession. In 2012, a study was conducted on mapping what kind of digital competencies and experiences new students in an online secondary teacher education report they have, and also their views on working with digital media in their future professions (Enochsson & Buskqvist, 2012). This study is similar to the 2012 study and conducted to see if there are any trends and/or changes in these competencies over time.
The changing conditions in line with technological developments mean that the skills of a person who is digitally competent or literate also change and have to change. Therefore, it is fruitful to avoid functional definitions (often lists of specific skills) and instead focus on conceptual definitions, i.e. where the objectives and use of digital competency are specified (Lankshear & Knobel, 2006; Buckingham, 2006). Gillen and Barton (2009) has chosen to use the plural form "digital competencies" which they define as "... constantly changing practices through which people make traceable meanings using digital technologies" (ibid. p.1).
In the European Commission's (2006) conceptual definition, digital literacy has three levels: (1) user competence, (2) critical understanding and (3) communicative abilities. Progression is highlighted: To be able to communicate effectively, thus becoming participating e-citizens, there must be practical skills to use various digital tools and resources as well as critical theory rooted understanding. In teacher education, we can talk about digital literacy at three levels in a similar way; an individual level, a society level and an educational level.
The Individual level is about the basic technical user skills. Due to technological development, this is problematic in that some of the practical skills students learn during their training may be obsolete a few years later. Nevertheless, it is necessary to build a foundation so when the students enter working life they are able to continue to keep up to date themselves. The society level focuses on the teacher's mission in a wider perspective, the technological development and the social implications that come with it. Teachers need to develop a theoretical competency of their young students’ life-worlds, which are permeated by digital technologies. The third level, the educational level, focuses on how teachers can reach out to students, how technology can be used as learning resources anchored in different disciplines and teaching practices, and this was the starting point in the earlier study (Enochsson & Buskqvist, 2012).
The study from 2012 showed that the average student in secondary teacher education used the internet in a very traditional way compared to the average citizen of the same age group. Traditional use was defined as banking, shopping and lurking in social media. There were students commenting on difficulties to understand how the platform worked. However, in general the students claimed they had good digital competence and lots of experience, but their self-reported competence did not correspond to the other results in the study (Enochsson & Buskqvist, 2012).
There are reasons to believe that the technological development, changing patterns of our use of these, together with changing demands on education concerning digital competencies (i.e. European Commission, 2015), has changed this situation. The specific research question is to compare competencies and experiences in the two student cohorts, but also to compare the students with the average citizen of the same age groups.
CMA. (2009). Internet och lärarutbildningen: Om lärarstudenters och lärarutbildares attityd och användning av IT. Stockholm: Centrum för Marknadsanalys. Enochsson, A.-B. (2010). ICT in initial teacher training: Swedish report. Paris: OECD. Enochsson, A-B. & Buskqvist, U. (2012). Digital kompetens som förutsättning och Lärandemål I nätbaserad utbildning. Paper presented at NORDPRO, AArhus Oct, 25–26. European Commission (2006). Annex: Key competences for lifelong learning: A European reference framework. Brussels: Available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=celex:32006H0962 European Commission (2015). 2015 Joint Report of the Council and the Commission on the implementation of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020): New priorities for European cooperation in education and training (2015/C 417/04). Available at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=uriserv:OJ.C_.2015.417.01.0025.01.ENG&toc=OJ:C:2015:417:TOC Gillen, J. & Barton, D. (2009) Digital Literacies. A discussion document for TLRP-TEL (Teaching and learning research programme - technology enhanced learning) Workshop on digital literacies. Lancester University 12-13 March 2009. Lankshear, C. & Knobel, M. (2006). Digital literacy and digital literacies: policy, pedagogy and research considerations for education, Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, 1(1), s. 12-24. Salaway, G., Caruso, J. B., & (Nelson, M. R.). (2008). The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2008. Boulder, CO: EDUCAUSE Center for Applied Research.
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