In this issue of the Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, we are pleased to present three articles that provide new insights to our field of study from three distinct perspectives. The first article shares insights from in-service teachers, the second article addresses digital literacies in pre-service teacher education, and the third article is concerned with young people just entering university education and the notion of digital natives.
The article ‘Leadership for learning in technology rich upper secondary school classrooms’ by Halvorsen sets out to analyse what good classroom leadership might look like in technology-rich environments. This issue is explored by drawing on the experiences of teachers who are considered to be successful technology users in the classroom. The study identifies four categories of strategies for classroom leadership, blended in various proportions when applied in classroom practice. In his conclusion, Halvorsen emphasizes the role of teacher attitudes to technology, teaching, and to the students in forming successful leadership in technology-rich classrooms.
The second article in this issue is ‘What’s to be learned? A Review of Sociocultural Digital Literacies Research within Pre-service Teacher Education’ by Nascimento and Knobel. They ask what qualitative, sociocultural research literature say about the ways in which pre-service teachers’ digital literacies are being addressed within teacher education programmes. The authors identify a number of themes across the thirteen articles matching the inclusion criteria of the literature search, of which they present two: Digital literacies as linked to out-of-school practices, and digital literacies as providing collaborative and supportive learning. Findings from the review also indicate that the student teachers’ engagement with digital literacies is dependent on the individual teacher educator more than a result of a systematic institutional practice.
In the article ‘How ICT savvy are digital natives actually?’, Ståhl is exploring the notion of younger generations as digital natives, combining survey data describing ICT and media use with test data describing performance-based ICT skills. He identifies five clusters of ICT and media use patterns, and also found that the scores from the performance-based test ranged over the whole scale in all the skill areas measured in the test. The study reveals that about a third of the participants might be characterized as digital natives based on both use patterns and skills. The author finds that the results support previous studies indicating that the net generation is just as heterogeneous as any other cohort, and challenges the assumption of net savvy digital natives.
The new cohorts entering pre-service teacher education are a heterogeneous group with respect to digital literacy. For them to become successful leaders in technology-rich classrooms, we need more than arbitrary individual teacher educators serving as role models for their students. A comprehensive effort to develop teachers’ professional digital competence is called for.