06 SES 10, Learning With Digital Media In and Out Of School
Parallel Paper Session<br /> Chair: Yvonne Fritze
The world of media around us has changed. Our children, spending more and more time with the screen media outside school, have got used to media contents that are now visual and interactive (Strasburger et al. 2009). The gap between generations, as far as media is concerned, is seen as a challenge in school: it is prominent that many students are not interested in studying by means of traditional media. Consistently, few teachers are willing to meet the challenge to utilise contemporary media and technology in instruction. (Pohjola & Johnson 2009) Thus, more effort is needed to apply modern media texts in formal school education.
Digital video (DV) production integrated in collaborative pedagogical settings has turned out to be a participative pedagogical tool (Hakkarainen 2007; Kearney & Schuck 2006) exhilarating and motivating learners regardless of age, gender or abilities, whether they are interested in tasks promoting practical skills or knowledge of technology (Palmgren-Neuvonen & Kumpulainen 2011; Reid et al. 2002). Instead of teacher-centered instruction, collective discursive activities in peer groups empower learners for more equal relations in the classroom. Moviemaking affords excellent conditions for children to learn critical media literacies (Laitinen 2007) that are regarded as part of crucial 21st century skills (Voogt & Pareja Roblin 2010).
The Future School Research Center (FSR) conducted a large study on collaborative DV projects in a Finnish primary school. The 4th and 5th graders (N=57) produced DV movies in three different kinds of projects, working in small groups. The aim of the study was to examine how the process of DV construction endorses collaboration and interaction in peer groups among primary school students. In addition, it was of interest to investigate how discursive activities promote children’s negotiation and collaboration skills. Nevertheless, the creative content production projects with collective activities offered the FSR a fruitful opportunity to investigate the dynamics and development of the peer groups.
For the study reported in this paper the following research questions were formulated:
- What kind of interaction emerges in the DV production projects among the small peer groups?
- What kind of development phases are composed in the DV producers’ small peer groups?
The continuous development of working life requires new kinds of competencies including good group and networking skills. The present study is based on Vygotsky’s (1978) socio-cultural theories of learning, the contemporary conceptions of collaborative learning (Dillenbourg 1999), and shared meaning (Stahl 2006). We can learn a great deal from and with each other. But for children, forming a group and working collaboratively may be challenging at times. According to Tuckman (1965), group development tends to follow phases: forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the interaction and group development among primary school children in activities around DV technology in order to establish the critical phases for successful collaboration.
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