06 SES 00 PS, General Poster Exhibition - NW 06
Posters can be viewed in the General Poster Exhibition throughout the ECER week.
This presentation focuses on a Nordic study of preschool teacher’s design and orchestration of digital learning environments and learning situations. The result shows how teachers in a Swedish preschool view film sequences taken in their preschools and how they through reflections on teaching methodology change approaches and learning activities with the aim to enhance the children’s literacy.
Preschool is voluntary in Sweden. Municipalities must offer preschool for children from the age of 1. Children are to be given the opportunity of learning through playing, creating and exploring – on their own, in groups or together with adults (The Education Act). A current important curriculum goal is to enhance possibilities for children’s development of digital literacy.
The study examines how preschool teachers understand and improve literacy-developing learning situations where digital tools are used under the guidance of a media educator, another preschool teacher acting as co-researcher and a researcher. One objective of the study is to analyze the preschool’s ability to contribute to the early development of young children's communicative competences in a digital learning landscape. Another goal is to strengthen practice-orientated research based on preschool needs with a focus on collegial learning.
Of interest is how teachers create the conditions for learning, meaning making and achievement when digital technology is included in educational practice. A child’s perception of meaning making in a digital learning landscape is influenced by how educators relate to digital tools and how they use digital technology. In environments where educators are not used to using or motivated to use digital tools, children’s opportunities for the development of knowledge and digital skills are limited (Forsling, 2017; Ljung-Djärf, 2004; Klerfelt, 2007). Integration of digital technology in preschool should be rooted in concrete and situated forms of practice and reflected in close interaction with the other educational work at preschool (Letnes, 2017). The main emphasis of the presentation is on the teachers’ own evaluation and didactic re-work of their designs.
How do educators in preschool create the conditions for literacy development, meaning making and achievement when digital technology is incorporated into educational practice?
The study is based on design-oriented perspectives with a multimodal focus. Based on these approaches, learning and meaning making may be seen as an interpretive approach to understanding phenomena in the society. Learning and meaning making are built on social interaction, and creative actions through which actors re-design existing representations (Kress, 2003, 2010; Selander, 2009). The multimodal focus of the study may be considered from an object perspective with the artifacts in focus and as analysis of semiotics in situated practices. From design-oriented theory, the central concepts: agency, flexibility and collective activity have been used for the analysis.
Design-based research The overarching research methodology and design for this research project draws on approaches and strategies from design-based research where qualitative methods are used for collecting data to shed light on the investigated subject. As a concept, design-based research originates from design experiments, formative research, development research, and design research (Akker, 1999; Akker, Gravemeijer, McKenney, & Nieveen, 2006; Brown, 1992; Collins, 1992; McKenney & Reeves, 2014; Newman, 1990; Røkenes, 2016). Design-based research can be broadly defined as “a series of approaches, with the intent of producing new theories, artifacts, and practices that account for and potentially impact learning and teaching in a naturalistic setting” (Barab & Squire, 2004, p. 2). Design-based research establishes direct links between research and practice, thus enhancing the chances that study findings will have an impact in educational research. In this research project, the approach was adapted both from formative approaches and design-based experiments. Implementation During the course of three months in autumn 2017, fourteen learning situations incorporating digital tablets were studied in two Swedish preschools. The study focused on four preschool teachers and their two groups – in total 25 children aged four and five. A co-researcher (a preschool teacher) and a media educator participated as well. The study was drafted as a design-based experiment, in which the researcher, together with the co-researcher and the four preschool teachers, developed learning situations in which digital tools were used for literacy development. The material consists of reflective dialogues with the preschool teachers, co-researcher and media educator, as well as video recordings, photographs and field notes from observations in preschool environments. Ethics The study was conducted in accordance with the Swedish Research Council's ethical guidelines (2017) and the General Data Protection Regulation. The municipality, the preschools, all informants and all participating children have been pseudonymized, according to Article 89 of the GDPR.
An important part of the study was the follow-up reflection sessions connected with the display of film sequences from learning situations in the preschool activities. The teachers expressed their surprise at the discrepancy between what they had experienced live and what they saw on the film sequences. The real-time experience of being inadequate, inattentive, not sufficiently structured or informative was contradicted in the film sequences. Collegial learning became an important factor in the reflective dialogues. The results show that design and orchestration of learning situations led to the increased digital competence of both children and teachers. The teachers discussed their greater understanding on including digital technology in every-day preschool activities. The teachers’ approached a technological-pedagogical expertise while using technology consciously and nuancedly in preschool education practices. Finally, I want to highlight the importance of the presence of the teacher in children’s interaction with digital technology. When children and teachers create cultural expressions a space for reflection and meaning making related to the form, content, technique and technology is formed. The teachers in the study designed and staged activities where digital tools were used. After the reflection sessions, the teachers developed new ways of thinking about learning – that is, they used their transformational skills - and this continued in an investigative spiral in what Thestrup (2011) calls an experimental community.
Akker, J. J. H. v. d. (1999). Principles and methods of development research. In J. J. H. v. d. Akker, R. Branch, K. Gustafson, N. Nieveen, & T. Plomp (Eds.), Design approaches and tools in education and training (pp. 1-14). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Akker, J. J. H. v. d., Gravemeijer, K., McKenney, S., & Nieveen, N. (2006). Educational design research. London: Routledge. Barab, S., & Squire, K. (2004). Design-based research: Putting a stake in the ground. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13(1), 1-14. Brown, A. L. (1992). Design experiments: Theoretical and methodological challenges in creating complex interventions in classroom settings. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2(2), 141-178. Collins, A. (1992). Toward a design science of education. In E. Scanlon & T. O'Shea (Eds.), New directions in educational technology (Vol. 96, pp. 15-22). Berlin: Springer-Verlag. Forsling, K. (2017). Att överbrygga klyftor i ett digitalt lärandelandskap. Design och iscensättning för skriv- och läslärande i förskoleklass och lågstadium. Doktorsavhandling Åbo Akademi University Press, Åbo: Åbo Akademi. ISBN 978-951-765-858-4 Klerfelt, A. (2007). Barns multimediala berättande: En länk mellan mediekultur och pedagogisk praktik. Doktorsavhandling, Göteborg: Acta Universitatis Gothoburgensis. Kress, G. (2003). Literacy in the new media age. London: Routledge. Kress, G. (2010). Multimodality: a social semiotic approach to contemporary communication. London: Routledge. Letnes, M. A. (2017). Legende Læring med Digitale Medier: Akademisk Forlag. Ljung-Djärf, A. (2004). Spelet runt datorn: Datoranvändande som meningsskapande praktik i förskolan. Doktorsavhandling, Malmö: Malmö högskola. McKenney, S., & Reeves, T. C. (2014). Educational design research. In J. M. Spector, M. D. Merrill, J. Elen, & M. J. Bishop (Eds.), Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (pp. 131-140). New York, NY: Springer New York. Newman, D. (1990). Opportunities for research on the organizational impact of school computers. Educational Researcher, 19(3), 8-13. Røkenes, F. M. (2016). Preparing future teachers to teach with ICT: an investigation of digital competence development in ESL student teachers in a Norwegian education program. (2016:169), Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Social Sciences and Technology Management, Programme for Teacher Education, Trondheim. Selander, S. (2009). Didaktisk design. I S. Selander and E. Svärdemo-Åberg (Red.), Didaktisk design i digital miljö: Nya möjligheter för lärande (s. 17–36). Stockholm: Liber. Thestrup, K. (2011). Det eksperimenterende fællesskab - Medieleg i en pædagogisk kontekst. Doktorgradavhandling. Institut for Informations og medievidenskab. Det humanistiske fakultet. Aarhus Universitet.
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