The aim of this paper is to explore to what extent and for what purposes pre-service teachers (Study 1, n = 474) and upper secondary pupils (Study 2, n = 324) use social networking sites (SNS), and how the Government’s recommendations correspond to the two groups’ understanding of their educational institutions’ SNS guidelines. Results show that the majority in both groups want to communicate with peers, not with each other. Both report negative SNS experiences. Pre-service teachers do not use SNS for pedagogical purposes, pupils do. Governmental recommendations are discussed in relation to the findings regarding institutional guidelines.
Keywords: Social networking sites, SNS, preservice teachers, upper secondary pupils, teacher education, school, governmental, pedagogical use, learning
With digital technology it has become possible and relatively easy to create texts, which contain different kinds of expression, such as images and sound. This challenges the concept of literacy and what it means to create texts in education. By exploring tensions and contradictions in and between different components in the activity system of creating texts in classrooms this article attempts to illuminate conditions for transforming this activity. Activities are here conceptualized as activity systems where components at local and systemic levels influence and constitute each other. Tensions and contradictions at both levels, reflect general issues related to the concept of literacy, as they concern what kind of expressions are considered valuable and primary when creating and assessing texts in educational settings.
Computers change the conditions under which learners complete assignments. Based on interviews with teachers from upper secondary school, we examine the strategies developed to deal with challenges emerging from this contextual change. The results indicate the emergence of divergent teacher strategies that seem intimately linked with fundamental assumptions about learning and knowledge. These differences are understood as expressions indicating divergent objects of assessment developing among teachers. If we want to design assessment practices with ecological validity in the networked society, such gaps are important to examine, discuss, and act upon.