27 SES 03 A, Parallel Paper Session
Parallel Paper Session
Norway is an interesting and important case in Europe when it comes to access to both computers and Internet in a school setting, because as the country has the highest number of Internet access both at home and at school among the OECD-countries, and digital skills are incorporated systematically in the national curriculum. It is the first country in Europe to have a curriculum explicitly based on digital skills, but the use of ICT is an important educational topic and goal across Europe. Several studies have emphasized that access to technology itself will not provide enhanced teaching or change in teaching practices (Cuban 2001, Madden, Ford et al. 2005, Livingstone 2009), therefore it is crucial to investigate how the use of ICT is impacting education. Having Internet connection in the classroom context, adds a tremendous amount of possible new texts to the educational setting. It also challenges the hegemony of what is historically the number one example of a typical institutionalized school text, namely the subject textbook. Even with this enormous variety of potential sources of information on the web, one digital source of information is often the clearly preferred choice for students, and that is the peer produced encyclopedia Wikipedia – increasingly popular globally, and by far the most visited on educational and reference material (Raine and Tancer 2007).
This paper presents a study on students’ literacy practices in upper secondary school aiming to describe recurring types of activities involving text use. The study is framed within the theories of New Literacy Studies (Barton and Hamilton 1998, Street 2003, Gee 2004, Barton 2007) where literacy is seen as a social practice based on texts. The paper explores how students in upper secondary school choose which texts to engage in, when searching for information to solve school assignments - and what characterizes the chosen texts. The study discusses the key literacy practices used by the students in their own writing – it especially addresses how and when the students use their traditional textbook, compared to how and when they opt for the peer-produced web encyclopedia Wikipedia. A focal issue is what counts as knowledge for the students across school subjects, and this is studied through the research question “which attitudes do students in their final year of upper secondary school have toward textbooks and Wikipedia entries, and how are these texts used as sources of knowledge in a school setting”.
Barton, D. (2007). Literacy: an introduction to the ecology of written language. Malden, Mass., Blackwell Pub. Barton, D. and M. Hamilton (1998). Local literacies: reading and writing in one community. London, Routledge. Cuban, L. (2001). Oversold and underused: computers in the classroom. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press. Gee, J. P. (2004). Situated language and learning: a critique of traditional schooling. London, Routledge. Livingstone, S. M. (2009). Children and the internet: great expectations, challenging realities. Cambridge, Polity. Madden, A., N. Ford, et al. (2005). "Using the internet in teaching: The views of practicioners (a survey of the views of secondary school teachers in Sheffield, UK." British Journal of Education Technology 36(2): 255 -280. Raine, L. and B. Tancer (2007) Wikipedia users. Washington, DC: Pew Internet & American Life Project, retrieved from http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2007/Wikipedia-users.aspx. Street, B. (2003). "What's "new" in New Literacy Studies? Critical approaches to literacy in theory and practice." Current Issues in Comparative Education 5(2).
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