16 SES 09 C JS, Literacy and Digitalisation in Education
Joint Paper Session NW 16 and NW 31
Experiences that reflect international research show both motivational effects and the possibility of distraction when using digital devices in the classroom (Langford, Narayan and von Glahn, 2016). Norway has seen a political strategic emphasis on digital infrastructure and competence on the primary and secondary education. While digital competence has been included in the curricula for adult education in the municipalities, no research has been undertaken to monitor the experience with ICT in adult education.
Adult education in Norway, which is own by the municipalities, has faced many changes during the last years. Due to increased immigration both the number of students, the number of tasks and responsibility has grown. Today’s local adult education centers are not only the first contact point for many immigrants who are obliged to take part in Norwegian language and social studies courses for immigrants. The adult education centers also arrange the online-based national test in Norwegian language, social studies and since 2017, the citizenship test. In addition, they are responsible for primary and secondary education of adults and offer courses in basic skills. Thus, one would expect that the integration in a country which is on the forefront with digital infrastructure and digital devices would also encompass the same provision in local adult education and show similar experiences concerning the use of ICT between children and adult education.
This abstract addresses how teachers in local adult education perceive the provision with digital infrastructure, training possibilities and the use of ICT in their teaching and learning practice.
Concerning the theoretical framework, there are different perspectives on using digital technology in teaching (Langford et al., 2016). On one hand, recent research underpin perceived usefulness of ICT, meaning that people recognize the importance of ICT when it comes to completing a task. Perceived usefulness of ICT is related with the intention to use ICT and self-efficacy. On the other hand, research also indicates the perceived distraction from using ICT, meaning that ICT can be an obstacle in the learning process. One example is that multitasking can reduce concentration and can make it difficult to complete work (Langford et al., 2016). Further, recent findings show that using ICT can contribute to motivation (Zheng, Warschauer, Lin & Chang, 2016) and achievements (Cheung & Slavin, 2013), in addition to preparing students for working in a digitalized world. Our study focuses on whether these research results can be applied to the field of adult education in Norway.
Data is collected by sending an online questionnaire to public adult education centers in Norway. The online survey consisted of 31 questions, and a few of these questions were open ended. The adult education centers were asked to forward the questionnaire to all teachers and leaders at each center. This means that this is a self-selection design and the sample could therefore be biased. A total of 894 teachers and educational leaders answered the questionnaire. We cannot generalize our answers to the Norwegian population, but the findings provide insight into the situation of these 894 participants.
Preliminary findings indicate that the majority of the teachers experienced that the use of ICT is meaningful in teaching adults because it helps to motivate and differentiate in the learning process. In addition, the use of ICT in the classroom helps adult learners to prepare for a technology driven society outside the classroom. The main obstacles are the lack of digital infrastructure in the classroom, insufficient internet capacities and training opportunities for teachers. This is surprising as participants in adult education who have manly immigrant background also have fewer possibilities to get access to digital resources outside the classroom. Why is that so? An earlier study from Rønning and Grepperud (2011) claims that there is little attention given to the field of adult education in Norway, showing for example that there is still no defined formal qualification that an adult teacher should have. And we find the same situation in other countrys. When a Nordic study in 2017 asked teachers in adult education about their training needs, typical classroom pedagogic skills and dealing with adults were the primary answers given. ICT-skills were ranked last in that study. In the same way as in schools for children, certain teachers are especially engaged using ICT in their teaching. Many report also that they see this as the proper way to prepare their students for the digital society outside classroom as to enable their students to integrate faster into the Norwegian society. While inclusion into the Norwegian society is the foremost aim of the work of teachers in adult educations centers, they seem to be highly excluded when it comes to the access of digital infrastructure and training possibilities for teachers.
Cheung, A.C.K., & Slavin, R.E. (2013). The effectiveness of educational technology applications for enhancing mathematics achievement in K-12 classrooms: A meta-analysis. Educational Research Review, 9, pp. 88-113. Langford, S., Narayan, A., & von Glahn, N. (2016). Revisiting the Technology and Students Learning Debates: Critical Issues and Multiple Perspectives. Technology and Student Learning, 9(2), pp. 1-15. Rønning, W. M.; Grepperud, G. (2011) Undervisning av voksne - en arena for amatører eller profesjonelle? En analyse av holdninger til voksenlæreres kompetanse. In: Aarsand, L., Håland, E., Tønseth, C., & Tøsse, S.. Voksne, læring og kompetanse. Oslo: Gyldendal, pp. 172-196. Sprogøe, Jonas mf. (2017): The Adult Educator’s Competences and Competence Development. Report Nordic Network for Adult Learning (NVL) and Nordplus Adult, under the Nordic Council of Ministers. Copenhagen. Zheng, B., Warschauer, M., Lin, C-H., & Chang, C. (2016). Learning in One-to-One Laptop Environments: A Meta-Analysis and Research Synthesis. Review of Educational Research, 86 (4), pp. 1052–1084
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