06 SES 07, Media Environments: Challenging schools and teacher
This paper is framed by an interest in how teachers in primary schools relate to challenges and opportunities from the introduction of tablets in classrooms. An increasing number of Norwegian schools is now investigating the use of tablets, side by side with computers, mobile phones and Smart Boards (Skarpaas, Ingulfsen & Gilje, 2015). The same tendencies can be witnessed in other European countries (Clark & Luckin, 2013). According to Drotner (2008), “much has been made of the information superhighway, of the wiring of classrooms, and of the technical training of teachers and pupils” (p. 167). For instance, in Norway and in UK regular surveys are carried out to measure the digital state of schools and on factors that might affect learning with technology (Arnseth, Hatlevik, Kløvstad, Kristiansen & Ottestad, 2007; Underwood et al., 2010). Much less has been made of how teachers and pupils experience and interpret digital technology entering into established classroom practices, of how they relate to possible challenges, opportunities, pleasures and disturbances (Burnett, Merchant, Pahl & Rowsell, 2014; Edwards, 2009). Individual's expectations, emotions and commitment can help to shed light on how technology is integrated, and might contribute into existing activities and practices (Selwyn, 2011). In academic and public debate about digital trends and “digitally savvy” pupils, many argue that the teacher-role becomes increasingly challenging, especially concerning class management skills and digital competence (Jahnke & Kumar, 2014; Rasmussen & Lund, 2015). This paper pays attention to these matters, particularly to how teachers reflect on pedagogical and didactical considerations when using tablets within their specific context.
Adopting a socio-cultural perspective on learning (Wertsch, 1998) and a systems theory-approach on learning and communication (Luhmann, 1995), this paper is guided by the following research questions:
How do teachers facilitate the use of tablets in the classroom? What opportunities and challenges do teachers experience from using tablets?
According to the chosen theoretical orientation, the aim is to shed light on the interplay between technology, activities, and teachers as participants in educational activities involving technology. It is also an aim to provide advice to teachers and school administrators struggling to choose educational activities, content and infrastructure involving technology.
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