31 SES 03 A, Digital Tools and Multilingual Learning – A Sociotechnical Approach
In light of the speed and significance of technological change, more schools are equipping their classrooms with laptops, tablet computers, Wi-Fi connection and interactive whiteboards. Although this is a desirable step, it in itself is not sufficient for the development of sustainable digital literacy among students, since many teachers face barriers associated with ICT (Ertmer, 1999). These barriers can entail a lack of technical skills or negative attitudes and fear towards new technologies. Teacher trainings can help to overcome these barriers. However, such training should not only address technical skills, but should also demonstrate how to incorporate technology meaningfully into learning activities (Moersch, 1995). For instance, teachers can learn to design their own digital teaching materials (Means & Olson, 1997) ensuring that they are not just consumers but also creators of ‘digital education’. Especially in science classes, where students must face different levels of language (everyday, instructional, technical) and semiotic representations (formulas, figures, experiments), appropriately designed digital tools can support the learners’ individual needs in versatile ways. For instance, tablet computers or smartphones can offer quick access to subject content, if they are embedded meaningfully in the learning environment. This paper will present the background, design and results of an interventionist study carried out among trainee science teachers at a major university in Germany. The goal was to empower the participants to embed digital media into classes that facilitate language-sensitive learning. To this end, a teaching module involving digital media was implemented into the study program of pre-service chemistry teachers. One core aspect of the module is the development of video-tutorials for science experiments and their integration into digital learning environments designed with PREZI (Banerji, 2017). These environments should scaffold the learning process, but also foster communication between learners. The module was tested with pupils from a so-called ‘welcome class’ in Germany – i.e. recently arrived refugee pupils. This offered the trainee teachers an authentic teaching experience, while the researchers could evaluate learner responses to the digital innovations. The trainee teachers documented their experiences in portfolios which form the basis for the qualitative evaluation of our study.
Banerji, A. (2017). Gestaltung digitaler Lernumgebungen mit PowerPoint und PREZI, CHEMKON, 24(2), 69-72. Ertmer, P. A. (1999). Addressing First- and Second-Order Barriers to Change: Strategies for Technology Integration. ETR&D, 47(4), 47-61. Means, B., Olson, K. (1997). Technology and Education Reform: Studies of Education Reform. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Moersch, C. (1995). Levels of technology implementation (LoTi): A framework for measuring classroom technology use. Learning and Leading with Technology, 23(3), 40-41.
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