In the present article, a study of the use of a virtual lab in environmental science teaching is reported. The lab was used as part of regular instruction; the idea was to provide a context to learn about experimentation as a research method. The study builds on a sample of 80 of 511 students, and uses pre- and post-test data of students’ insights about concepts and procedures relevant for designing an experiment in environmental science. The results show that students discovered some principles of how to organize an experiment. A majority of the students appropriated some of the relevant terminology and procedures relevant for organizing experiments. However, the findings also pointed to limitations in how students were able to reason about experimentation. A major problem for the students was to understand the role an experiment plays in resolving an issue. Such insights do not emerge from using the virtual lab per se, but rather from realizing the role an experiment plays as part of a scientific study of a problem.
This paper explores the ways in which teachers have integrated ICTs in teaching humanities and science classes at the elementary and primary school levels. The research is based in Estonia, looking at five Estonian and one Russian-speaking primary and elementary schools. Data were gathered through classroom observations and two consecutive interviews with 16 teachers. Our findings indicate that technology use is strongly related to the teacher’s dominant instructional style and the specific subject culture.
Keywords: pedagogic use of ICT, subject cultures, instructional styles, Estonia
This study aims at scrutinising the mathematical learning opportunities of children engaging with digital tools and the emerging affordances and constraints faced in such settings. By adopting a sociocultural perspective on learning and development, the multimodal analysis of the adult–child interaction shows that the children are participants in processes of appropriating the mathematical concepts of sorting and counting. Affordances are taken advantage of by the adults and constraints causing didactical dissonance are overcome and transformed into didactical harmony.