Purposeful learning across collaborative educational spaces (PLACES)
Mr Jalal Nouri | Presentation (PDF)
The world of education is currently undergoing significant changes as digital technologies are transforming how we think about schooling and learning, according to studies conducted in 2010 and 2011. According to a 2010 study by Säljö, technologies do not merely support learning; they transform how we learn and how we come to interpret learning. It is from such a critical perspective that this research proposal is interested in understanding what types of transformations the use of digital devices are bringing to schools’ classrooms. Goodyear (2011) claims that we are facing two perceptible changes in the field of educational research. The first is a shift in our sense of the spaces and contexts in which education takes place, as different learning activities are becoming more commonly distributed across a variety of contexts. The second change is a wider understanding with regards to the conception of educational praxis, acknowledging the growing importance of design.
In order to better understand some of these emerging challenges, our particular efforts described in this research application aim at:
- Understanding the intricacies and complexities of introducing mobile technologies into schools’ curriculum and accepted teaching practices.
- Analyzing actual transformations that the use of mobile technologies in schools brings to contemporary forms of learning in the 21st century.
The choice of concentrating our attention on the use of mobile devices (e.g. smart phones, tablets and ultra-light portable computers) responds to the need to investigate the value of the integration in schools of such technologies that are part of young people’s life, according to a 2010 study. The choice of focusing on learning and teaching practices in the specific domains of mathematics and language responds to two main reasons: our particular interest for better understanding which types of transformations the use of digital tools bring to school children’s emerging new literacies and to address the current needs identified in a recent report1 published by the Swedish government regarding how ICT can be used to improve the understanding of subject matter.
The research questions this project aim to elucidate are described below:
- How can schools introduce mobile devices into mathematics and language learning everyday classroom practices?
- Which pedagogical standpoints should be considered in such endeavor?
- How does the use of mobile devices transform classrooms’ practices and, in particular, learners’ understanding of mathematical and linguistic concepts?
- How are mobile devices adopted and shaped by teachers and learners’ practices in mathematics and language learning classrooms?
- What are the different and specific barriers that the use of mobile devices in classroom settings encounters in Swedish schools?
The project aims at:
- Contributing to the ongoing scientific discourse in the field of educational technology regarding the complex and contradictory realities of technology usage within educational settings.
- Identifying conceptual and social transformations that the use of mobile devices introduces into mathematics and language classrooms.
- Providing a body of empirical results based on assessments of the learning environments and the underlying theories.