Oppgrader til nyeste versjon av Internet eksplorer for best mulig visning av siden. Klikk her for for å skjule denne meldingen
Ikke pålogget
{{session.user.firstName}} {{session.user.lastName}}
Du har tilgang til Idunn gjennom , & {{sessionPartyGroup.name}}

Childrens Engagement in Digital Practices in Leisure Time and School



Research fellow, Research Centre for Child and Youth Competence Development at Lillehammer University College /Institute for Educational Research, University of Oslo.



Professor, Research Centre for Child and Youth Competence Development at Lillehammer University College.

Drawing on questionnaire data, this article analyses to what extent, and in relation to which digital tasks, pupils engage in four digital practices in leisure time and school. The results indicated differences between, and similarities in, their engagement within and across the two contexts, as well as differences related to gender and school level. In future research digital competencies should be understood as situated in social practices in order to understand how pupils’ digital competencies can be developed within school.

Keywords: Digital competencies, digital practices, learning contexts.

Introduction

We are currently witnessing an increase in children’s use of digital technology, like social networking sites and digital production software, in their leisure time (Norwegian Media Authority 2010; Ofcom 2009). It is commonly recognized that their time used, and their experiences and learning from using technology differ from the way technology is used in most schools (e.g. Buckingham 2003). Technological innovation, alongside development in society in general, has intensified a focus on the connection between different contexts of learning (e.g. Edwards 2009). Digital technology offers new ways of communication, participation and learning that require and develop a number of digital competencies seen as vital in future society (e.g. Rychen & Salganik 2005). The latest Norwegian school reform1 introduces digital competence as a central focus. Similar moves are circulating around the world, for instance in countries like Finland, New Zealand and Scotland (Sefton-Green et al. 2009). The school reform is meant to contribute to the development of digital competencies2 to prepare pupils for participating in a complex society. To understand the challenges faced by the educational system attempting to integrate the digital competencies pupils bring into the classroom developed in their leisure time, we need to know more about what characterizes children’s use of technology within and across different learning contexts (Erstad 2005). In Norway there seems to be limited systematic research on the relation between computer-use in leisure time and school, especially among pupils below 7th grade. In this article3, we will investigate the relation between use of computers in leisure time and school among pupils between 5 th and 7 th grade in three Norwegian primary schools. Drawing on questionnaire data, we examine how pupils engage in specific digital tasks and practices in the two contexts. We want to examine to what extent their engagement in these digital tasks and practices within and across the two contexts differs and overlaps. The following general research questions guided the study:

  • To what extent are pupils engaged in different digital tasks and practices in leisure time context and in school context?

  • How does pupils’ degree of engagement in certain digital practices differ within each of the two contexts?

  • How does pupils’ degree of engagement in each type of digital practice differ between the two contexts?

  • Do school level, gender and degree of participation in school projects addressing digital technology influence pupils’ engagement in different digital practices in the two contexts, and if so, in what ways?

From our results we will discuss possible implications to schools related to the pupils’ potential to engage in diverse digital practices in the two contexts, and hence to possibilities to develop digital competencies. Our study is primarily exploratory and designed to generate theory and hypothesis on similarities and differences in the children’s participation and engagement in digital practices in leisure time and school. Thus, the study represents a starting point and a guideline for future studies with a qualitative approach, analysing digital practices, and development of digital competencies in school.

Theoretical framework and research questions

Children and young people’s engagement in digital practices outside educational settings are often theorized as either in opposition to, or as part of a continuum of school-based practices in which the digital practices criss-cross both domains (Sefton-Green 2004). In leisure time, many children use different software and technology from that at school, more often and for a broader set of different activities (e.g. Drotner 2008). Participation in for instance online societies, gaming and digital content-production may enhance digital competencies linked to technical skills, dealing with cultural expressions and genres, managing relationships and identity (Ito et al. 2008), as well as new ways of learning (Sefton-Green et al. 2009). We emphasize “may”, because we do not argue that school uncritically should adopt leisure time use of technology. The goals and objectives are different. Still, it is vital to attain a nuanced and more holistic approach to how young people relate to modern technology (Buckingham 2006).

Research on school-based programmes reflects these wider trends in literacy research mentioned above. Several scholars emphasize that formal schooling needs to recognize young people’s technology use outside school (e.g. Bekerman et al. 2006; Buckingham 2003; Erstad 2005; Hull & Schultz 2002; Moje et al. 2004; The New London Group 1996). Research emphasizes that many teachers have a positive attitude towards computers and the potential impact on learning (e.g. Erstad et al. 2005; Synnevåg et al. 2010). Studies of classroom practices indicate that content production like digital storytelling may engage pupils in technology and practices familiar to them from outside school, thus enhancing more student-centred ways of learning (e.g. Scott Nixon 2009). Several Norwegian monitoring programmes, as well as national and international research projects on school reforms and school development projects, have highlighted that the development of digital competences and the level of use of technology in key learning activities, largely rely on access to technology and pedagogic facilitation (e.g. Arnseth et al. 2007; Erstad 2004; Kløvstad et al. 2009; Underwood et al. 2010). However, diverging conceptions of digital competencies among teachers and students are seen as a main challenge regarding how to approach the development of digital competencies as a part of broader cultural activities in educational practice (Sefton-Green et al. 2009). In other words, educational practice does not seem to take into consideration how pupils use new technologies in leisure time. Differences in access between schools and levels, as well as discursive struggles around digital competence, are central in our discussion of the challenges faced by teachers in arranging for learning activities using digital technologies.

To approach digital competence as competencies involved in broader cultural activities implies an understanding of the technology and the digital competencies needed as part of social practices situated within certain contexts. We draw on a socio-cultural perspective (e.g. Nygren 2004, 2008; Säljö 2006;Wertsch 1998) and on insights developed within the New Literacy Studies tradition of studying digital practices from an ethnographic point of view (e.g. Kalantzis & Cope 2008; Lankshear & Knobel 2008). This implies that digital competencies are developed in different ways within different social practices according to the tasks to be accomplished in different contexts, assuming that participation in certain digital practices gives the participators possibilities to develop the digital competencies involved in these practices. We position young people as subjects in their own competence development according to how they respond to and influence the contextual arrangements (Dreier 2008; Nygren 2004, 2008). This approach also implies a move beyond the traditional transfer-metaphor on knowledge between individual minds (e.g. Beach 1999). In line with this approach we argue for a broad understanding of digital competencies constituted by the dynamic relations of certain elements: skills, knowledge, identities, control, access, etc. These, in a “joint venture”, and to a certain degree, enable the human subject to accomplish certain tasks using certain digital tools in a certain social practice performed in a certain context (e.g. Nygren 2004, 2008). We analyse to what extent the pupils used computers in either context to accomplish certain tasks, here called digital tasks. These tasks were grouped into four types of what we call digital practices, assumed relevant and comparable in leisure time and in schools. Engaging and participating in certain digital practices both require and promote the development of certain digital competencies. Our elaboration of the four main types of digital practices draws on a broad approach to digital competencies and on other frameworks of digital competence (e.g. Arnseth et al. 2007; Erstad 2005; Rychen & Salganik 2005). Our elaboration also relies on media research on children and media (e.g. Drotner 2001; Livingstone 2002). Our main types of digital practices, and some of the important digital tasks involved in these practices, are as follows:

  1. Processing digital content. Involved tasks: Using search engines, reading, watching or listening to digital content without changing or further developing it. Using digital learning resources is also included here.

  2. Computer- and mobile-gaming. Involved tasks: All kinds of computer games in general, i.e. online games and computer games, and games played on mobile phones.

  3. Digital communication. Involved tasks: Using e-mail, calling and sending sms and mms by using mobile phones, sharing computer files, contacting a television/radio show, participating in chat groups, blogs, newsgroups or other online societies to communicate and share any content, text, sound and images, produced by oneself or by others.

  4. Producing digital content. Tasks involved: Using software, camera, sound recording, power-point, excel, music- or moviemaking-software to create, integrate, develop and change digital content produced by oneself or others.

Each of the tasks defined as related to one of these four digital practices, was supposed to be represented as 23 items in the questionnaire presented to the pupils (see section below). However, this grouping of the items proved to be a challenge. Hence, the four theoretical categories were at first seen as analytical categories, although our statistical reliability analysis (Cronbach's Alpha and intra class correlation) of these practices as indexes later indicated the empirical ground for the construction of the four indexes (see below).

Empirical data and method

Being primarily exploratory, the study is designed to generate theory and hypothesis on similarities and differences in the children's use of computers and their engagement in digital practices in leisure time and school. The data were collected by a questionnaire in 2008. Based on voluntary participation, the overall percentage of participation was 85% of a total of 269 children (51% girls and 49% boys) between 9 and 13 years (5th - 7th grade); 228 pupils answered and 41 did not want to participate or were excluded because their forms were not completed adequately.

Three schools as strategic cases

Although the three primary schools were strategically chosen as cases, they were representative for Norwegian schools in terms of size, technical equipment, numbers of pupils and teachers and socio-economic status. The first school is located in a small town and has 110 pupils on 1st –7th grade and 11 teachers. The second school is located in a larger town and contains 350 pupils (1st–10th grade) and 30 teachers. The third school has 170 pupils on 1st–7th grade and 24 teachers. However, the schools included cannot be considered as a representative sample of Norwegian schools in general. Instead, the sample was made from a strategic point of view, defining our three schools as representative of Norwegian schools which, to a greater extent than other schools had set out to adjust to the new national educational policy in general, and specifically to the introduction of digital competence as a new key concept in educational practice. At the time of data collection, the chosen schools were participating in a national project called The Learning Network4 (LN-project) contributing to national knowledge building on digital education and digital skills. Each of our schools participated in the national project with a specific project: Storytelling, Smart Board and home pages. We measured how the degree of participation might influence engagement in digital practices in school and leisure time (research question No. 4). Our schools were defined as cases that, more than other schools, had the potential to demonstrate the new role of digital practices and competence development intended by the national curriculum. All classes in the three schools between 5th and 7th grade were included in the study. At each school one of the classes was involved in the school’s local part of the LN-project to a higher degree, here referred to as classes with high participation, than other classes (low participation). Classes defined as classes with high participation also had teachers with a higher degree of engagement in using digital tools as a part of their pedagogical practice. Hence, the three schools are not representative on a national level. General statistical inferences and generalization are therefore not relevant in this case study. The population we generalize is thus pupils in 5th – 7th grade in the type of Norwegian schools which in a broad sense can be compared to our three cases, that is to schools where the teachers put extra effort into using ICT in the way they did in their local variant of the LN-project. Reflecting the three schools’ pedagogical and practical experiences and development of competencies from implementing ICT, our results are relevant for pedagogical practices and related experiences most likely to appear in other schools in the future. Using the national educational policymakers’ formulations and goals, we may perhaps say that the three cases represent important aspects of the school of the near future. Our results and our study have in this respect thematic relevance and can underpin analytical generalization (Kvale 1997).

Questionnaire and analysis of data

The questionnaire consisted of 36 questions, some of the questions including several items, addressing the children's use of personal computers (PC), the Internet, and mobile phones in leisure time and school. In order to compare the results of the technology use in the two different contexts, the same formulations of the questions were used, although adjusted to fit the addressed context. The questionnaire was tested and revised to ensure that the pupils understood the questions before gathering the data. The pupils answered the questionnaire in their classrooms during an ordinary lesson. The teachers and one of the researchers were present and helped the pupils. The researcher described the study and the questionnaire, introducing and explaining difficult parts. Statistical analysis was made in SPSS (ver. 16).

We draw on three types of questionnaire data:

      On theoretical grounds the 23 items were divided into four categories, each category including items representing digital tasks defined as important parts of one of the four categories of digital practice (see section above). The items constituting each category were constructed as an index of each of the four digital practices. The items were included with the same weight. The empirical reliability of the construction of these four categories, indexing four digital practices, was tested statistically (Cronbach’s Alpha and intra class correlation) with satisfying results5.

      The two questions mapping the degree of pupils’ access to PCs and Internet in leisure time were simply answered by a mark of whether or not the respondent had access to the Internet at home, and whether or not he/she had a PC of his/her own. Analysis of responses included simple descriptive statistics in percentages. The pupils’ subjective reports on time (in hours) spent during a week using the computer and/or Internet for writing, gaming and reading in leisure time and school, was roughly measured by the respondents' mark of one of six fixed categories (from “never” to “10 hours or more”) reflecting fixed points on an underlying scale from lowest to highest (1–6). Analysis included T-test of mean scores. The analyses of the subjective report on the amount of time the pupils were engaged in the four digital practices were based on the scores on computed variables, treated as indexes for the four digital practices, the index score being the mean score of the items (digital tasks) included in the index. For the items included in these indexes the general formulation of the questionnaire's question was as follows: How often do you … (do some task)... in leisure time/ school? The children could answer: never, sometimes, often, or very often, assuming these categories represented an underlying scale from lowest to highest (1–4). From a methodological point of view, the formulation of these alternatives is not ideal. But as a compromise taking into account the children's age, the alternatives were formulated in this way in order to make it easy to give an approximate answer reflecting their subjective experience, and to avoid difficulties giving exact answers, for example, in terms of how many hours per week they spent on doing each of the 23 different digital tasks. Since it can be assumed that the respondents could interpret the alternatives with different references to time (what counts as “often”? etc.), our results should be read with care and with this adjustment to the children's age in mind. Still, it is reasonable to assume that these differences on an individual level do not influence the results on a group level in a systematic way, contaminating the reported results.

      The analysis of the four digital practices focused on the relations between the pupils’ engagement in different digital practices within one of the two contexts (leisure time or school), as well as on the relations between the two contexts within each of the different digital practices. In addition, the significance of variables such as school level and gender was analysed (T-test, one way Anova). Our study is conducted according to the ethical code of the Norwegian Social Science Data Service.

      Results

      It is important to emphasize that we are not aiming at measuring to what extent the pupils6 have – or do not have – certain digital competencies. Rather we want to use our four categories as a way to further explore participation and engagement in the digital practices as one path toward a socio-cultural and practice-based understanding of the concept digital competencies (Arnseth et al. 2007, p. 34).

      Access to computers and average use of time in four digital practices in leisure time and school

      Access is an important condition for technology use both in leisure time and in school. Almost all our respondents (99% N 225) reported to have access to PCs and Internet at home, with no significant gender differences. Half of our respondents (53% N 225) possessed their own computer, also with no significant gender-differences. More than one third (36% N 219) used computers for 3–6 hours during an ordinary week while 11% used computers for less than one hour. At school, 39% (N 216)7 used computers less than one hour during an ordinary week, while 15% used computers between 3–6 hours. We find our results to be in accordance with the studies made by Arnseth et al. (2007) and Kløvstad et al. (2009).

      As a background to our results on pupils’ engagement in the four digital practices in leisure time and school, we present an overview of the gap between leisure and school regarding average amount of time spent on computers during an ordinary week in these two contexts. Table 1 presents the statistics (means, N and standard deviation) based on the values 1–6 (where 1 = 0 hours and 6 = 10 or more hours), indicating the amount of time spent using PC and Internet for reading, writing and gaming during an ordinary week.

      Table 1: Subjective reported time in hours spent using pc during a week (mean)

       

      Leisure time

       

      School

       

       

      School level

      M

      N

      SD

      M

      N

      SD

      5th grade

       

       

       

       

       

       

      girls

      3,67

      27

      1,038

      2,45

      29

      0,783

      boys

      3,79

      34

      1,067

      2,61

      31

      0,989

      Total

      3,74

      61

      1,047

      2,53

      60

      0,892

      Test

      Gender * time:Anova: n.s.

      Gender * time:Anova: n.s.

      6th grade

      girls

      3,70

      44

      1,357

      2,83

      42

      0,853

      boys

      3,78

      41

      1,215

      2,73

      41

      1,225

      Total

      3,74

      85

      1,283

      2,78

      83

      1,048

      Test

      Gender * time:Anova: n.s.

      Gender * time:Anova: n.s.

      7th grade

      girls

      4,28

      40

      1,132

      2,56

      41

      1,026

      boys

      4,00

      31

      1,155

      2,30

      30

      1,022

      Total

      4,15

      71

      1,142

      2,45

      71

      1,025

      Test

      Gender * time:Anova: n.s.

      Gender * time:Anova: n.s.

      Anova 95% conf.int.

      Grade* time: F(2,214)=2.983, p= .053

      Grade * time: n.s.

      Learning net work

       

       

       

       

       

       

      High participation

      3,65

      72

      1,269

      2,73

      70

      0,916

      Low participation

      3,99

      145

      1,130

      2,54

      144

      1,044

      Anova 95% conf.int.

      Participation * time: F(1,215)=3.855, p= .051

      participation * time: n.s.

      Total

      3,88

      217

      1,186

      2,60

      214

      1,005

      As for leisure time and school time computer use in general, our results indicate no significant differences between the three schools. Within school level (5th–7th grade), there are no significant gender differences in computer use either in leisure time or in school time. However, our results indicate a significant difference between school levels regarding leisure time computer use: The 7th graders use computers to a greater extent in leisure time than do the pupils in the 5th or 6th grade. Our results are supported by other studies indicating that the amount of computer use in leisure time increases with age (e.g. Endestad et al. 2004; Norwegian Media Authority 2010).

      In the school context, there were no differences in general computer use between those pupils attending classes with a high participation in the LN-project and those who had low participation. In other words, those who had a high participation in this project did not seem to use computers more often in school than those who had a low participation. Those pupils who had a low participation in the LN-project seemed to have a significantly higher use of computers in leisure time.

      When analysing the statistical means of weekly time for PC use, comparing its use in leisure time and school, we did not find any significant differences. In order to explore similarities and differences related to pupils’ digital practices in leisure time and school, we will present the results on their engagement in four main types of digital practices as defined above. Engagement was measured by subjective reports on time spent on the different tasks constituting the four types of digital practices. As will be shown, our results reveal interesting differences and similarities in pupils’ engagement in different digital practices in leisure time and school. In the discussion following the presentation of these results, we will focus on the relations between pupils’ engagement in different types of digital practices within one of the two contexts, and on the relations between the two contexts within each type of the different digital practices.

      Engagement in four types of digital practices in leisure time and school

      Table 2 gives an overview of pupils’ engagement (mean) in the four main types of digital practices, measured by subjective reports on an ascending scale from never (1), sometimes (2), often (3), and very often (4).

      Table 2: Engagement in digital practices in leisure time- and school (mean)

       

      Leisure context

      School context

      Comparison of means

       

      Digital practices

      M

      N

      SD

      M

      N

      SD

      Anova 95% conf. Int.

      M

      N

      SD

      Processing digital content

      2,0152

      207

      0,4361

      1,6717

      198

      0,3266

      F(14,174)=3.999, p= .000

      1,675

      189

      0,3311

      Computer- & mobile gaming

      2,5230

      217

      0,6680

      1,5145

      207

      0,6288

      F(6,197)=2.364, p= .032

      1,515

      204

      0,6315

      Digital communication

      1,8088

      207

      0,4836

      1,2917

      216

      0,4041

      F(15,186)=2.165, p= .009

      1,285

      202

      0,3801

      Producing digital content

      1,6739

      205

      0,4524

      1,5426

      198

      0,3997

      F(15,173)=7.064, p= .000

      1,544

      189

      0,4043

      The degree of engagement in all types of practices is significantly higher in the leisure context compared with the school context. This implies, for example, that processing digital content seems to be rather more integrated in leisure time digital practice than in school. The same can be said about the other three digital practices. This is probably partly due to differences in the number of opportunities to engage in these practices in the two contexts. Also, the differences in the degree of engagement in the practices within the same context can be assumed to be influenced by such contextual factors. Arranging the four practices in a descending order according to their mean scores gives the following result within the leisure time context:

      Computer- and mobile-gaming;

      Processing digital content;

      Digital communication and

      Producing digital content.

      (Sig.: .000 for all differences between the practices, Anova and paired sample test).

      Ordering the practices within the school context gives the following results:

      Processing digital content;

      Producing digital content;

      Computer- and mobile gaming and

      Digital communication

      (Anova indicate sig.: .000 for all differences between the practices, while paired sample tests indicate pair-wise significant differences for all pairs, except for digital production and computer- and mobile-gaming).

      The fact that computer- and mobile gaming score higher in the leisure context compared with the school context might not be surprising. The same goes for our results that indicate that pupils at school are engaged in processing (1) and producing (2) digital content more often than in the other two digital practices. The interesting differences and similarities in pupils’ engagement in the four digital practices within and across the two contexts are revealed below when we take gender, school level, and degree of participation in the LN-project into account. As for the use of computer- or mobile games in school, not surprisingly our results reveal a significant gap compared with leisure time. Our findings support the results found in the study conducted by Arnseth et al. (2007). According to our ranking, gaming in school seems to be in third place.

      Our results expose a significant gap when it comes to pupils’ engagement in digital communication, favouring leisure time for this practice. In a school context this practice is the one in which the pupils show the lowest investment of their time. As for content production, our results reveal a significant difference in engagement in the school context compared with leisure time, even though digital content production seems to be in second place when it comes to time engagement within our three schools.

      Differences in digital engagement related to gender, school level, and participation in the Learning Network project

      Table 3 gives an overview of results from our analysis of the engagement in the four digital practices in leisure time and school, considering gender, school level, and degree of participation in the LN-project.

      Table 3: Digital engagement and gender, school level and degree of participation in the LN-project.

       

      Leisure time

       

       

      School

       

       

      Digital practice

      M

      N

      SD

      M

      N

      SD

      Processing digital content

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Gender

       

       

       

       

       

       

      girls

      2,0620

      107

      0,0443

      1,6676

      104

      0,3138

      boys

      1,9643

      100

      0,4212

      1,6763

      94

      0,3418

      Anova 95% conf.int.

      n.s.

       

       

      n.s.

       

       

      School level

       

       

       

       

       

       

      5th grade

      1,8251

      58

      0,3942

      1,6346

      52

      0,3504

      6th grade

      2,0436

      82

      0,4465

      1,6914

      81

      0,3198

      7th grade

      2,1450

      67

      0,4060

      1,6769

      65

      0,3177

      Anova 95% conf.int.

      F(2,204)=9.351, p= .000

       

       

      n.s.

       

       

      Learning net work

       

       

       

       

       

       

      High participation

      1,9748

      68

      0,4387

      1,7710

      68

      0,3358

      Low participation

      2,0349

      139

      0,4350

      1,6198

      130

      0,3104

      Anova 95% conf.int.

      n.s.

       

       

      F(1,196)=10.013, p= .002

       

       

      Total

      2,0152

      207

      0,4361

      1,6717

      198

      0,3266

      Computer- & mobile gaming

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Gender

       

       

       

       

       

       

      girls

      2,4636

      110

      0,7094

      1,4083

      109

      0,5365

      boys

      2,5841

      107

      0,6200

      1,6327

      98

      0,7018

      Anova 95% conf.int.

      n.s.

       

       

      F(1,205)=6.755, p= .010

       

       

      School level

       

       

       

       

       

       

      5th grade

      2,4917

      60

      0,6277

      1,6636

      55

      0,6943

      6th grade

      2,4884

      86

      0,7112

      1,5298

      84

      0,6226

      7th grade

      2,5915

      71

      0,6509

      1,3750

      68

      0,5557

      Anova 95% conf.int.

      n.s.

       

       

      F(2,204)=3.318, p= .038

       

       

      Learning net work

       

       

       

       

       

       

      High participation

      2,5069

      72

      0,7046

      1,7324

      71

      0,7063

      Low participation

      2,5310

      145

      0,6514

      1,4007

      136

      0,5538

      Anova 95% conf.int.

      n.s.

       

       

      F(1,205)=13.781, p= .000

       

       

      Total

      2,5230

      217

      0,6680

      1,5145

      207

      0,6288

      Digital communication

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Gender

       

       

       

       

       

       

      girls

      1,9362

      103

      0,4984

      1,2857

      111

      0,3745

      boys

      1,6827

      104

      0,4352

      1,2980

      105

      0,4350

      Anova 95% conf.int.

      F(1,205)=15.203, p= .000

       

       

      n.s.

       

       

      School level

       

       

       

       

       

       

      5th grade

      1,6167

      60

      0,4011

      1,3374

      58

      0,4020

      6th grade

      1,8483

      81

      0,5128

      1,2906

      87

      0,4435

      7th grade

      1,9351

      66

      0,4683

      1,2555

      71

      0,3540

      Anova 95% conf.int.

      F(2,204)=7.731, p= .001

       

       

      n.s.

       

       

      Learning net work

       

       

       

       

       

       

      High participation

      1,7484

      67

      0,5205

      1,3601

      73

      0,4672

      Low participation

      1,8378

      140

      0,4640

      1,2567

      143

      0,3646

      Anova 95% conf.int.

      n.s.

       

       

      n.s.

       

       

      Total

      1,8088

      207

      0,4836

      1,2917

      216

      0,4041

      Producing digital content

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Gender

       

       

       

       

       

       

      girls

      1,7802

      104

      0,4227

      1,5908

      103

      0,4031

      boys

      1,5644

      101

      0,4578

      1,4902

      95

      0,3913

      Anova 95% conf.int.

      F(1,203)=12.314, p= .001

       

       

      n.s.

       

       

      School level

       

       

       

       

       

       

      5th grade

      1,7069

      58

      0,5087

      1,4603

      54

      0,4616

      6th grade

      1,6804

      80

      0,4519

      1,5949

      79

      0,4120

      7th grade

      1,6375

      67

      0,4028

      1,5473

      65

      0,3150

      Anova 95% conf.int.

      n.s.

       

       

      n.s.

       

       

      Learning net work

       

       

       

       

       

       

      High participation

      1,7332

      68

      0,5070

      1,6948

      66

      0,4774

      Low participation

      1,6444

      137

      0,4216

      1,4665

      132

      0,3311

      Anova 95% conf.int.

      n.s.

       

       

      F(1,196)=15.415, p= .000

       

       

      Total

      1,6739

      205

      0,4524

      1,5426

      198

      0,3997

      The main results for each digital practice can be summarized and commented as follows:

      Processing digital content

      • The engagement is the same for girls and boys, both in leisure time and in school.

      • The engagement in general rises significantly with school level within leisure time, but not within school.

      • The engagement in general is significantly higher for those pupils who had a high degree of participation in the LN-project in the school context, but not in leisure time.

      Our results indicate that processing digital content in leisure time, for example using search engines and Office programmes, is a practice that increases with school level. Within school though, processing digital content does not seem to increase with school level. The exception seems to be those classes directly involved in the LN-project. In these classes the engagement in processing digital content within school is significantly higher than for those classes less directly involved. Outside school, however, the level of engagement seems to be the same independent of the degree of participation in the LN-project.

      Computer- and mobile-gaming

      • The engagement is significantly higher for boys compared with girls in the school context, but there is no gender difference in leisure time.

      • The engagement in general declines significantly with school level within school, but not in leisure time.

      • The engagement in general is significantly higher for those classes with a high participation in the LN-project in the school context, but not in leisure time.

      Our analysis (see table 2) indicates that computer- and mobile-gaming is the digital practice best integrated in leisure time, compared with school time for both genders and on all three school levels. We find no indication that the boys are more engaged in computer- or mobile-gaming than the girls8. Our results indicate that the boys spent a greater amount of time gaming at school than the girls (see also Drotner 2001). This difference could be explained by suggesting that the boys played during the breaks, while the girls did not. Our results also indicate a significant decline in gaming as the pupils reach 7th grade (see also Arnseth et al. 2007). It seems like those classes with a high participation in the LN-project are more engaged in using computer/mobile games in school than those classes with a low participation.

      Digital communication

      • The engagement in this practice is significantly higher for girls compared with boys in leisure time, but there is no gender difference in the school context.

      • The engagement in general in this practice is the same for those classes with a high participation and those with a low participation in the LN-project, both in leisure time and in school.

      Our results show that girls seem to be more eager than boys to communicate online, a tendency increasing with school level. Our findings support the results found in a study made by Drotner (2001). However, our findings suggest that this difference is not relevant for digital practice in school context.

      Producing digital content

      • The engagement in this practice is significantly higher for girls compared with boys in the leisure time context, but there is no gender difference in school context.

      • The engagement in general is the same for children at all school levels, both in leisure time and in school.

      • The engagement in general is significantly higher for those classes with high participation in the LN-project in the school context, but there is no difference in leisure time.

      Our results suggest that the girls seem to be more engaged in producing digital content than the boys in leisure time. Interestingly, our results reveal that those classes with high participation in the LN-project were more engaged in digital content production than those with low participation.

      Discussion and conclusion

      Not surprisingly, we found a significant gap between leisure time and school regarding pupils’ engagement in the four practices studied: computer-/mobile-gaming and digital content processing, communicating, and producing digital content (our first question). This result forms a context for discussing the remaining research questions.

      Our second question addressed how the degree of engagement in certain digital practices differed within each of the two contexts. Outside school, the pupils seemed to spend more time on computer- /mobile-gaming and on processing digital content, compared with digital communication and content production. Within school they seemed to be more engaged in processing and producing digital content, than in gaming and communication.

      The third question addressed the degree of engagement in each type of digital practice and how this might differ between the two contexts. We suggest that processing digital content seems to be the type of digital practice engaging our pupils to the same extent in both contexts, thus becoming a bridge on which digital practices travel between both contexts. This is in line with Arnseth et al. (2007), who emphasize that search engines are the most used online service at school. Computer-/mobile-gaming seemed to be the practice separating leisure time and school in terms of pupils’ engagement, where leisure time was the preferred context.

      Our fourth research question focused on if, and how, gender, school level, and degree of participation in the school project might influence engagement in different digital practices in the two contexts. As for engagement in processing digital content, our results indicate that boys and girls seemed to be equally engaged in both contexts. Somewhat contrary to other studies (e.g. Drotner 2001; Endestad et al. 2004), both genders in our study seemed to be equally engaged in computer-/mobile-gaming in leisure time. Our study seems to confirm Brandtzæg's (2005) suggestions that young girls may develop a computer-/mobile-gaming habit more like the boys in the future. Within the school context, the boys were significantly more engaged in gaming than the girls, but this gender difference does not relate to the other three practices. It appears that girls took the lead regarding digital communication and content production in leisure time. This contrasts with the study by Arnseth et al. (2007), indicating that gender differences among 7th graders were small and linked to certain types of production in leisure time. Since we have not paid attention to content or technology preferences, our results should be read with care. However, our results disclose no significant gender differences in the school context. In other words, the schools seem to even out gender differences. As regards school level, we found no increase in processing digital content in school. This is different from Arnseth et al.'s (2007) study emphasizing an increase in engagement in using search engines and Office programmes with school level. Although their study concerns older pupils, it is relevant to relate their results to ours and suggest that pupils’ engagement in processing digital content might increase from 7th grade on, not before. For the gaming practice in the school context the engagement in general decreased with school level. Somewhat in accordance with our results, Arnseth et al. (2007) reported only limited differences among school levels related to digital content production in school. The 7th graders seem to have an increasing uptake of digital production software from 2005–2007. In other words, by 2007 the 7th graders had become as eager as the older schoolchildren as regards digital content production. Our study might confirm this since engagement in digital production at school was the same for pupils at all levels (table 3). With the exception of digital content production, in which the engagement was the same and relatively low for all children at all levels in leisure time, the engagement in communication, processing and gaming practices rose with school level in leisure time.

      As for participation in the LN-project, we found no differences in general computer use in the school context between those pupils attending classes with high participation and those with low participation. This result, together with the indication of the rather limited amount of time used on computers in school, is somewhat surprising. The significantly higher use of computers in leisure time among those pupils who had a low participation in the LN-project is perhaps even more surprising. We assumed the pupils in the three classes with a high degree of participation to be more engaged in computer use in general, at least in school time. Obviously, our results do not confirm this assumption, but rather the contrary. Our very rough measure of time used in computing is restricted to a single quantitative measure. To evaluate possible effects of participation in the LN-project concerning time using computers, it will of course be important to investigate qualitative aspects of computer use. However, our results indicate that it is reasonable to assume that the LN-project influenced the pupils in those classes with a high participation in the project. These pupils seemed to be more engaged in digital practices that might develop digital competencies involved in content production, computer-gaming and processing digital content. However, LN-participation did not appear to have any influence on the degree of engagement in digital communication. Our results should be related to the results in the final evaluation report from the LN-project concluding: “(…) the schools participating in the network, and especially those teachers and school leaders involved, have experienced a major professional benefit from their participation in the network” (Synnevåg et al. 2010, p. 194, our translation).

      Taking into consideration the digital competencies the pupils might bring to the classroom as indicated by their preferences underlying their different degree of engagement in different digital practices, one could speculate on the possible implications for the pedagogical practices in school. Those pupils who might possess a broader range of digital competencies developed from engagement in gaming and digital communication outside school might perhaps experience reduced possibilities to develop competencies related to these practices in school. As for digital communication, it seems like the schools even out gender differences found in leisure time. Perhaps introducing boys to communication technologies does this? However, schools may face challenges regarding the tendency that pupils’ engagement in digital communication in leisure time expands, as they grow older. The same relates to their engagement in processing digital content and computer-/mobile-gaming. Schools might be challenged by pupils’ potential digital competencies derived from experimental and peer-based approaches to learning in leisure time (e.g. Sefton-Green et al. 2009). As for our results on producing digital content, it could be suggested that a larger amount of boys than girls are introduced for the first time to creative content production in school. In general, engagement in for instance digital storytelling in school might enhance identity formation, critical thinking, meaning making and communication as important aspects of digital competencies (e.g. Erstad & Silseth 2008; Nyboe & Drotner 2008). In this way, schools might help to link to the pupils’ leisure-time use of digital technology.

      Taking into account our assumptions concerning pupils’ development of their digital competencies through participating in digital practices, our results might indicate that teachers should perhaps consider establishing links to pupils’ out-of-school experiences with digital technology as part of their pedagogical strategy. This implies taking into consideration those pupils with limited experience with digital technology in leisure time. In general, we suggest that it might be a good idea for schools to pay less attention to technical perspectives and more attention to the use of digital technology as situated in social practices in order to develop the quality of pedagogical use of digital technology. As this study has highlighted, children are engaged in digital practices that seem to overlap, as well as create boundaries, between school and leisure time. Accordingly, instead of conceiving leisure time and school as diverging contexts, our results suggest that future research approach these contexts as interdependent. In this way it is possible to study how children learn across contexts. It is also vital to study the interaction between learners and their different learning contexts, as well as different premises supporting knowledge development within different curriculum subjects. This involves how use of technology might have implications for our assumptions of what knowledge formation and learning implies (Erstad 2007). Our study represents a starting point for gaining more profound and qualitatively oriented knowledge on digital practices and on the development of digital competencies in school and leisure time contexts. We suggest that future studies should have a combination of questionnaires and qualitatively oriented methods, for instance individual- and focus group interviews combined with observations in analysis of digital practices and competencies as situated within and across contexts.

      References

      Arnseth, H.C., Hatlevik, O., Kløvstad, V., Kristiansen, T. & Ottestad, G. (2007): ITU Monitor 2007. Skolens digitale tilstand, 2007. Oslo, Scandinavian University Press.

      Beach, K. (1999). Consequential transitions: A sociocultural expedition beyond transfer in education. In Review of Research in Education, 24, 101–139.

      Bekerman, Z., Burbules, N.C. & Silberman-Keller, D. (2006): Learning in places: the informal education reader. New York, Peter Lang.

      Brandztæg, P.B. (2005): Gender differences and the digital divide in Norway. Is there really a gendered divide? SINTEF ICT. Retrieved from: http://www.sintef.no/digitalbarndom/Publikasjoner.htm (accessed 20.03.10)

      Buckingham, D. (2003): Media education: literacy, learning and contemporary culture. Cambridge, Polity Press.

      Buckingham, D. (2006): Is there a digital generation? In Buckingham, D. & Willett, R. (eds.): (2006). Digital generations. Children, young people, and new media. Mahwah, NJ.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

      Dreier, O. (2008): Psychotherapy in everyday life. New York: Cambridge University Press. Theorizing persons in structures of social practice (pp. 21–46).

      Drotner, K. (2001): Medier for fremtiden: børn, unge og det nye medielandskab. København, Høst & Søn.

      Drotner, K. (2008). Leisure is hard work: Digital practices and future competences. In Buckingham, D. (ed.) (2008): Youth, identity, and digital media (pp. 167–184). Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. The MacArthur Foundation series on Digital Media and Learning.

      Edwards, R. (2009): Introduction. Life as a learning context? In Edwards, R., Biesta, G., & Thorpe, M. (eds) (2009): Rethinking contexts for learning and teaching: communities, activities and networks. London, Routledge.

      Endestad, T., Heim, J., Torgersen, L. & Kaare, B. H. (2004). En digital barndom? En spørreundersøkelse om barns bruk av medieteknologi, NOVA.

      Erstad, O. (2004): Piloter for skoleutvikling. Rapport for forskningen i PILOT 2000–2003, ITUs skriftserie, No. 28. ITU – Forsknings- og kompetansesenter for IT i utdanning, University of Oslo.

      Erstad, O. (2005). Digital kompetanse i skolen: en innføring. Oslo, Scandinavian University Press.

      Erstad, O., Kløvstad, V., Kristiansen, T. & Søby, M. (2005): På vei mot digital kompetanse i grunnopplæringen, Oslo, Scandinavian University Press.

      Erstad, O. (2007): Forskningsutfordringer. In Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, 4, 288–290.

      Erstad, O. & Silseth, K. (2008): Agency in digital storytelling: Challenging the educational context. In Lundby, K. (ed.): Digital Storytelling, Mediatized Stories. Self-Presentations in New Media (Vol. 52), (pp. 213–232), New York. Peter Lang.

      Hull, G. & Schultz, K. (ed.) (2002): School`s out! Bridging out-of-school literacies with classroom practice. Teachers College Press, Columbia University, New York and London.

      Ito, M., Horst, H., Bittanti, M., boyd, d., Herr-Stephenson, B., Lange, P.G., Pascoe, C.J., Robinson, L. (2008): Living and learning with new media. Summary and findings from the Digital Youth Project. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning, November 2008. Retrieved from: http://digitalyouth.ischool.berkeley.edu/files/report/digitalyouth-WhitePaper.pdf (accessed 30.07. 09).

      Kalantzis, M. & Cope, B. (2008): New learning. Elements of a science of education. Cambridge University Press. New York.

      Kløvstad, V., Hatlevik, O.E., Ottestad, G., Skaug, J.H. & Berge, O. (2009). ITU Monitor 2009, Oslo, Scandinavian University Press.

      Kress, G. (2003): Literacy in the new media age. London and New York, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

      Kvale, S. (1997): Det kvalitative forskningsintervju. Oslo, Ad notam Gyldendal.

      Lankshear, C. & Knobel, M. (2008): Digital literacies. Concepts, policies and practices. New York, Peter Lang Publishing Inc.

      Livingstone, S. (2002): Young people and new media: childhood and the changing media environment, London, Sage.

      Moje, E.B., Ciechanovski Macintosh, K., Kramer, K., Ellis, L., Carrillo, R. & Collazo, T. (2004): Working towards third space in content area literacy: An examination of everyday funds of knowledge and Discourses. Reading Research Quarterly, ProQuest Psychology Journals, 39 (1), p. 38–70.

      Norwegian Media Authority (2010): Barn og digitale medier. Fakta om barn og unges bruk og opplevelse av digitale medier. Norwegian Media Authority, Oslo 2010.

      Nyboe, L. & Drotner, K. (2008): Identity, aesthetics and digital narration. In Lundby, K. (ed.): Digital storytelling, mediatized stories. Self-presentations in new media (Vol. 52) (pp. 161–176). Peter Lang, New York.

      Nygren, P. (2004): Handlingskompetanse: Om profesjonelle personer. Oslo Gyldendal Akademisk, 2004.

      Nygren, P. (2008): En teori om barns og unges handlingskompetanse. In Nygren, P. & Thuen, H. (red.) (2008): Barns og unges kompetanseutvikling. Oslo, Scandinavian University Press.

      Ofcom (2009): UK children’s media literacy 2009 interim report. Retrieved from: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/advice/media_literacy/medlitpub/medlitpubrss/uk_childrens_ml/ (accessed 25.03.10).

      Rychen, D.S. & Salganik, L.H. (eds.) (2005): The definition and selection of key competences. Executive Summary. OECD. Retrieved from: www.oecd.org/edu/statistics/deseco (accessed 19.04.09).

      Säljö, R. (2006): Læring og kulturelle redskaper: Om læreprosesser og den kollektive hukommelsen. Oslo, Cappelen akademisk.

      Scott Nixon, A. (2009): Mediating social thought through digital storytelling. Pedagogies; An International Journal, 4, 63–6.

      Sefton-Green, J. (2004): Literature Review in Informal Learning with Technology Outside School. Futurelab Series, Report 7.

      Sefton-Green, J., Nixon, H. & Erstad, O. (2009): Reviewing approaches and perspectives on "digital literacy". Pedagogies: An International Journal, 4 (2), 107–125.

      Synnevåg, M.C., Ottestad, G. & Skaug, J. H. (2010): Lærende nettverk gjennom fem år. In Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, 4, (3–4), 191–-203.

      The New London Group (1996): A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies: Designing Social Futures, in Harvard Educational Review, 66 (1).

      Underwood, J., Baguley, T., Banyard, P., Dillon, G., Farrington-Flint, L., Hayes, M., Le Geyt, G., Murphy, J. & Selwood, I. (2010): Understanding the Impact of Technology: Learner and School level factors 2010. London, BECTA.

      Wertsch, J. V. (1998): Mind as action. Oxford University Press.

      1Knowledge Promotion: http://www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/kd/Selected-topics/compulsory-education/Knowledge-Promotion/what-is-the-knowledge-promotion.html?id=86769
      2In line with the reform-documents we use the term digital competence instead of the English term digital literacy.
      3We want to thank our anonymous reviewers for critical and helpful comments and suggestions. We also want to thank professor Halvor Fauske at Lillehammer University College for helpful comments on the analysis.
      4http://www.itu.no/no/Om_ITU/English/
      5Cronbach’s Alpha statistics for each index: 1) processing digital content: leisure time (.678) and school (.550); 2) Computer- and mobile gaming: leisure time (.4788) and school (.719); 3) Digital communication: leisure time (.745) and school (.787); 4) Producing digital content: leisure time (.746) and school (.748). Alpha values below .70 are normally not considered satisfying. Our values at the .55 and .48 level therefore represent some limitations of the study. Intra class correlation for all indexes in both contexts tested for 95% confidence Interval show sig.: .000.
      6In this section we use the term pupil to indicate that our main focus is on the school. We are aware that children possess a number of roles in diverse contexts, among them the role as a pupil.
      7These are two out of several categories (from “never” to “10 hours or more”) reflecting fixed points on an underlying scale from lowest to highest (1–6). See page 9.
      8We did not measure for preferences according to content, technology, or purposes for use (e.g. Brandtzæg 2005; Drotner 2001).

      Idunn bruker informasjonskapsler (cookies). Ved å fortsette å bruke nettsiden godtar du dette. Klikk her for mer informasjon