• Tobias Alsted Nielsen
  • Lasse Rønn
4. term, Information Science, Master (Master Programme)
This project takes its outset in our personal experiences in a working relationship with the teachers in the Danish Municipal Primary and Secondary school. The teachers are under an immense pressure from society to integrate technologies in their teachings in order to prepare the pupils for a constantly changing society. There is a widespread understanding that the knowledge society brings with it a new set of requirements for a new set of skills, and technology is the way we can accommodate this. The Danish Ministry of Education and the teachers themselves are agreeing that there is a potential in integrating technology, there is just confusion on how the implementation can be a success. The Danish schools are currently buying technology thinking that it will fit in by default and automatically change the practice in the schools. The teachers are often forgotten in this process while they are the ones who have to navigate in and facilitate this integration of technology.

The teachers and their competency to facilitate this process is not a topic that is discussed that often, but we want to direct attention to the digital literacies and the development of technological skill. We want to do this in the setting of teacher preparation, as this is what we see as the crucial point where the teachers can acquire the skills and competency to harness the technological instruments. The teachers have a personal learning environment which is all the different instruments that are used in their activity of performing their teachings. We explore what happens when we add a new instrument to their personal learning environment and try to provoke a group of four teachers to change through an action research process. Secondly, we analyse the culture that resides in the organisation regarding the use of internet based media in the teacher preparation.

The action research process lasted for five consecutive weeks where we met regularly with four teachers an average of four times per teacher. We acted as participators in the process of cultivating the teachers’ personal learning environment and our process yielded a good result, and we were able to push the teachers within their Zone of Proximal Development. Pinterest.com, which was the instrument we introduced, was a contributor to a few articulated teacher strategies that either was in the making or was actually conducted in the teacher’s lessons. In order to analyse the culture that revolves around the teacher preparation and the use of internet based media we applied Activity Theory and Expansive Learning as theories that can analyse both at the individual and the organisational level. An analysis of the relation between subject, object, and community revealed the contradictions that goes to show where the clashes between internet based media in the preparation and the culture resides. We located some smaller expansive learning cycles where double binds are solved by the use of internet based media.

We found with three out of the four teachers that the culture that resides in the teacher community is a culture where the internet based media of the personal learning environment is invoked by the individual teacher when they have a need for either extending, supplementing, or substituting the subject textbooks. The teachers often have this need as the textbooks cannot stand alone, and for the creative and physical subjects textbooks do not exist or does not play a significant a role. The culture around sharing of material is also found in the closer relationship between the teachers either at the school or as part of teacher teams. They share material and “steal” from each other, as one teacher formulated it. The network building that occur between the four teachers and their colleagues either locally or online is often limited to a mere handing over of material, and the four teachers do not share material online either.
Publication date2 Jun 2014
Number of pages87
External collaboratorHenrik Bilgrau, Gug skole
Henriette Hansen hjelm@gug-skole.dk
ID: 198396081