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Where do we go from here Digital literacy and curriculum reform in Norway


To study the mechanisms of school development using ICT ... Deals with; How to organize your time. ICT both takes time and creates efficiency ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Where do we go from here Digital literacy and curriculum reform in Norway

Where do we go from here? Digital literacy
and curriculum reform in Norway
Ola Erstad, Institute of Educational Research,
University of Oslo, Norway
A new direction?
  • Major ICT-initiatives in many countries, but what
    are the consequences?
  • ICT creates new challenges for education and
  • ICT is used more broadly, but so what?
  • Digital literacy as a way forward?

Digital literacy and curriculum reform
  • White paper, Culture for learning (2003-2004),
  • outlining the new school reform in Norway
  • Defining using digital tools
  • and digital competence as important as
  • reading, writing, numeracy and oral skills
  • All students, in all subjects, on all levels
  • should use and learn about digital
  • tools as part of their learning activities

I. Technology, Society and Education
  • II. ICT in Norwegian education
  • What is digital literacy?
  • Challenges

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Making learning meaningful and relevant
  • The things you learn in school are to do with
    education and to get jobs. Youre not really
    using them in actual real life. (18-year old,
    Bentley 1998)
  • I guess I could call myself smart. I mean I can
    usually get good grades. Sometimes I worry
    though, that Im not equipped to achieve what I
    want, that Im just a tape recorder repeating
    back what Ive heard. I worry that once Im out
    of school and people dont keep handling me
    information with questions … Ill be lost.
    (15-year old, Bentley 1998)

In a society where knowledge is the most
important resource, learning is the most
important process!
Conceptualizing ICT and Education
  • Jfr. Larry Cuban, Teachers and machines-the
    classroom use of technology since 1920 (1986),
    Oversold and underused (2002)
  • New theoretical framework on learning
  • ICT as a cultural artifact (Säljö 2000)
  • Communities of practice (Wenger 1998)
  • Scaffolding (Bransford, Brown Cocking 2000)
  • Multiliteracies (Cope Kalantzis 2000)
  • Designing learning environments (Jonassen Land
  • Looking back, how much has really changed?

II. ICT in Norwegian education
National Action Plans
  • Before 1996
  • First Plan, 1996 - 1999
  • Focusing on implementation
  • Innovation or tradition? (Erstad 1999)
  • Second Plan, 2000 - 2003
  • From IT to ICT
  • Focusing on infrastructure, pedagogical use
  • and teacher competence (LærerIKT)
  • Program for digital competence, 2004 - 2008

Moving away from
  • A few enthusiastic teachers working with IT
  • Many small-scale activities (one teacher - one
    class) Upscaling?
  • Teacher training without strategy
  • Focus on technology, less on pedagogy
  • Gender differences
  • Huge differences between use of ICT in schools
    and outside
  • The starting point for the PILOT project!

The PILOT project (Project Innovation in
Learning, Organization and Technology)
  • Initiated by the Ministry of Education together
    with the Learning centre.
  • 2000 - 2003
  • 120 schools
  • 9 regions in Norway
  • 6 research communitites (15 researchers),
    organized by ITU
  • Action research survey (before-after)

  • To study the mechanisms of school development
    using ICT
  • To analyze productive interaction in learning
    activities using ICT
  • District perspective

Survey before - after
  • Tracking change
  • Spring 2001 - spring 2003
  • 9. grade Secondary level (second year)
  • Students, n1993
  • Teachers, n516
  • Principals, n60
  • Control schools

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Compared PILOT and control students
  • PILOT-students use ICT significantly more often
    for educational purposes, at the end of the
    project than in the beginning, while control
    students significantly more often use ICT for
    entertainment purposes
  • PILOT students use ICT significantly more often
    in all subjects
  • PILOT students answer that they more often use
    advanced forms of ICT, while control students
    answer that they more often use ICT to send
  • Compared with the control students the PILOT
    students experience that their school day has
    changed more in the last couple of years, and in
    a more positive direction and more future oriented

Using ICT correlated with what the students
report that the computers have had of
consequences concerning own learning
Using ICT often
Do not use ICT
  • Do not use ICT for educational work
  • Do not use ICT for e-mail
  • Use ICT a lot for e-mail
  • Use ICT a lot for entertainment
  • Do not use ICT for entertainment
  • Using ICT has to a large extent improved my
    performance in subjects
  • Using ICT has not improved my performance in
  • Do not use ICT for advanced purposes
  • Use ICT a lot for advanced purposes
  • Using ICT has to a large extent improved the
    social climate at my school
  • Using ICT has not improved the social climate at
    my school
  • Use ICT a lot for educational work
  • Experience that ICT is positive for students in
  • Experience that ICT is negative for students in
  • Using ICT has to some extent improved my
    performance in subjects
  • Using ICT has to a lesser extent improved my
    performance in subjects

Using ICT has to some extent improved the social
climate at my school
  • Using ICT has to a lesser extent improved the
    social climate at my school
  • Use ICT a bit for e-mail
  • Use ICT some for educational work
  • Use ICT a bit for advanced purposes
  • Use ICT some for entertainment
  • Use ICT a bit for entertainment
  • Use ICT some for advanced purposes
  • Use ICT a bit for educational work
  • Use ICT some for e-mail

Not using ICT very often
Using ICT some times
Qualitative research
  • Three levels, units of analysis
  • Level 1 School culture
  • Level 2 Relational processes
  • Level 3 Subject oriented learning activities
  • Regional differences

Level 1 School culture
  • Change takes time. Some schools suceed better
    than others.
  • A gap between intentions and praxis. Strategies.
  • Why some succeed
  • They have a clear educational vision for using
  • They have a state of readiness for change and
    implement new projects
  • They have a leadership that communicates its
  • They have teachers that feel more comfortable
    about how to handle change.
  • Technology that works.
  • Manages to focus on something they are good at!

ICT as catalyst for change
  • My students learned much more before these new
    technologies were introduced. I had long
    experience with teaching and know what works. New
    teaching methods create chaos. (Teacher, 2000)
  • The PILOT-project is finished, but I feel we are
    not yet there. We have digged into our roots.
    What has become much clearer is the attitudes of
    different teachers towards the school and about
    learning. Here we have started
  • a debate. There have been some small
  • conflicts because of this. Using different
  • concepts creates confusion.
  • (Teacher, same school, 2003)

Information flow
  • It is only after we joined PILOT that I
    understand what they are working on in the
    subjects of English and German at this school.
    That is quite amazing. And think - I have been a
    teacher at this school for more than ten years!
    (Teacher, upper secondary level, 2001)

Level 2 Relational processes and learning
  • Changing teacher and student roles
  • Changing learning environments
  • Collaboration within classrooms, within school
    and between schools.
  • Teacher teams
  • Communities of Learning - Project North

Division (split) among teachers
PILOT has created negative consequences
internally in the community of teachers because
some teachers have huge problems in managing
using ICT. We have sort of two parts of the
teacher community, those who can master the
machines in a resonable way and those who cannot…
It is a soar feeling among some and I think they
feel more unsuccessful after the project than
before. (Teacher, Agder)
Student participation
  • Student They say responsibility for own
    learning, but I am not sure if that is correct.
  • Interviewer What do they mean then?
  • Student I dont know, and I am not sure if they
    know themselves. In one instance it is
    responsibility for own learning, and in the
    next it is attendance register and follow up of
    home work. I dont know how much responsibility
    for own learning that is. It is just like
    before. You get a mark if you have not done your
    homework. The thing with responsibility for own
    learning is just nonsense. (Student, Agder)

Communities of learning
  • Dialogue conferences
  • To be able to look at yourself at a distance
    makes it clearer what you are actually doing.
    When you at the same time get comments, questions
    and ideas from others in the same situation, it
    forces you to reflect on your own everyday
    experiences in the classroom, and through that
    process you get more conscious about what, why
    and how. (Teacher, small school Troms)

Level 3 ICT in educational practice
  • Deals with
  • How to organize your time. ICT both takes time
    and creates efficiency
  • What teachers and students actually use ICT for
    in educational practice? And which ICT tools?
  • The connection between methods, activities and
  • How understanding subject domains change.
  • ICT mostly used in connection with project work
    (The Antarctica project)

  • Schools that work systematically on different
    areas, with organizational framework, flexible
    methods and focus on learning, succeed best with
    educational use of ICT.
  • Not only the good that get better
  • We need to study the complexity of school
    development with ICT
  • Questioning the educational use of ICT. Towards
    digital literacy. The new curriculum.

Where do we go from here?
III. What is digital literacy?
Conceptual development
  • Criticism of traditional conceptions of literacy
    - 1980s (Graff 1979, Street 1985)
  • Different forms of literacy (Barton 1991)
  • Media literacy as a common term. Later on digital
  • Multi-literacies (New London Group, Cope
    Kalantzis 2000)
  • DeSeCo (Definition and Selection of Competencies,

Defining digital literacy
  • Digital literacy is skills, knowledge and
    attitudes in using digital media to master living
    in the learning society. (Erstad 2005)

  • Access which is steadily improving, but still
    too large differences between schools, levels and
  • Teacher competencies also improving, but the
    teacher training colleges are not training
    teachers well enough in the educational use of
  • Assessment one of the major mechanisms that
    hinder change, Norwegian project digital exam
  • Schools as learning organizations technology is
    one of many mechanisms for schools development, a
    holistic perspective. Networks of learning.
  • Looking at how kids use media and teachnology
    outside of schools digital literacy is mainly
    developed outside of school settings

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Impressions from the new subject specific
curriculum plans
  • Large variation in how digital literacy is
    written into the different subject plans
  • Mostly focusing on skills in using technology
  • Unclear indication of progression through the 13
    years of schooling using ICT
  • Digital literacy is mainly defined within the
    traditional school setting, and not building on
    young peoples experiences with technology
    outside of schools

Dimensions of digital literacy
Dimension 1 Skills in using ICT
  • Computer driving liscences
  • Basic understanding of IT
  • Using computers and operative systems
  • Word programming
  • Spreadsheets
  • Database
  • Presentation and drawing programs
  • Internet and e-mail
  • Teacher ICT (LærerIKT), linked to the educational
    use of ICT, module based
  • Traditional gender differences in attitudes
    towards technology

Dimension 2 ICT as a knowledge domain
  • The history of technological development Todays
    media have a prehistory that most young people
    are not aware of.
  • Media and power Digital media are essential
    sources of power in our society. Who are
    controlling the access to information?
  • Form and content Modes of communication. Design.
    What is communicated?
  • Media genres How different media develop
    different genres.
  • The use of different media How children, youth
    and adults use different media for different
    purposes, the meaning making process involved and
    social consequences.

Dimension 3 ICT and knowledge construction
within different subjects
We are in front of one of the major choices in
the history of schooling. If we should teach the
students to calculate roots and everything, or we
should use the computer. The last option I
imagine for students who will not study
mathematics later on. It is a revolution in
mathematics. All equations can be solved, so what
we spend most time on now is gone. That is a
revolution. (teacher, Agder) Even though you
are not good at drawing you can show what you are
good for when you use computers. That is good.
(student, Møre Romsdal)
  • I believe Robo Lab makes it easier to understand
    how things work, and I believe it is easier to
    understand mathematics and physics when you see
    things in the natural life. But I believe it is
    important the teacher is there with us..
    (student, Møre Romsdal)
  • In biology we got in and looked at diseases. We
    found a lot about new methods of treatment and
    medicines. It came out after out book was
    written. We learned a lot from it, but what we
    find on the Internet is not defined as part of
    the curriculum. (student, West-Agder)

Dimension 4 ICT and learning strategies
  • Interviewer Could you have worked the same way
    if you had not had computers?
  • Boy Not at all.
  • Interviewer Why not?
  • Boy Because we learn much more on the Internet.
  • Girl Yes, more interesting. Because it is so
    boring to go to the library to find a book and
    look through. It is easier and it is more fun.
  • Interviewer Yes. Do you think it is easier to
    find information on the Internet?
  • Girl Yes, I think so.
  • Interviewer But everything on the Internet is
    not the same quality. Do you know when you
    discover the good pages and what is correct
    information and so forth?
  • Boy If you search on Kvasir (browser), then it
    is mostly the things on the top that are correct.
    The things below are just stupid things that just
    came along.

Dimension 5 ICT and cultural competence/ digital
bildung/to be literate
  • Bildung today can be described as interface.
    Interface is, as the word states, a border. It is
    not first of all about the self or culture, but
    about the interface where they meet.
    Technocultural bildung should the same way as the
    classical formulate be a basic idea about bildung
    for humanity, like the literate human being. The
    challenge is to transform the classical concept
    of bildungs triade - the self, the world and the
    transformation - to the interfaces of technology
    and humanity and for the subject as distributed
    and situated. The technoculture is the culture of
    meeting spaces. (Løvlie 2003)

  • Beyond the slogans
  • eNorway. The Ministry of Modernity.
  • Changes in the public sector. My page.
  • Issues of democracy. Digital divides.

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IV. Challenges
Digital divide
  • Access
  • Gender differences
  • Multiculturalism
  • To be literate
  • Inclusion - Exclusion
  • What goes on inside and outside of schools

Digital literacy as a new direction?
  • Changing conceptions of knowledge
  • The role of technology as embedded in literacy
  • The new national reform gives us
    possibilities/affordances for defining the role
    of technology in education
  • Creates new challenges. What is really digital
    literacy, and how does it relate to schooling?
    Multi-level approach
  • Digital literacy to all is not an easy task to
    accomplish, but I believe it is the most
    interesting direction ahead.
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