This paper explores how policy makers argue for the importance of digital competence in Swedish teacher education. A policy analysis of key policy documents from the government and from government-affiliated organisations from the time period 2011–2016 is conducted using Carol Bacchi’s ‘what’s the problem represented to be?’ approach. The paper critically examines underlying assumptions and particular viewpoints that underpin how the concept digital competence is formulated in key policy texts.
Digital competence is found to be a part of a globalised policy discourse that conceptualises education as a necessity for a competitive work force. Policy makers describe Swedish schools as unsuccessful in providing pupils with adequate digital competence and how this may cause Sweden to fall behind in global competition. Shortcomings in schools are considered to be caused by low digital competence being developed as part of teacher education. In the studied policy documents, the ‘problem’ that digital competence in teacher education is meant to solve is consequently an issue of economic growth and global competition. The strong emphasis on economic benefits and an instrumental perspective on technology expressed in the global policy discourse on digital competence leads to the need for a renewed focus on Bildung and civic competences.
Implementation of tablets in Norwegian schools has become quite common, but we still have too little research knowledge about the learning outcome from these implementation measures. To achieve more knowledge about the topic, this trailing research examines the first cohort of Bærum municipality’s implementation of tablets in primary school. The outcome measures in the study are external for the intervention, and are recorded data from National Tests (National reading, arithmetic and English Tests, Classes 5, 8 and 9, National Mapping Tests for reading and arithmetic, Classes 1–3, and the 2014–2016 National Pupil Survey). The whole study (N=15,708) relies on an explanatory, sequentially mixed-methods design (Fetters, Curry and Creswell (2013), and in this study we examine the quantitative effects of this implementation. The results stemming from the general focus areas, that is, spelling, reading, comprehension and arithmetic in the National Mapping Tests for reading for Classes 1–3, we find that there is no significant impact on pupil learning1In other words, the percentage above the limit for concern with respect to the expected level of learning in this context. with respect to Classes 1 and 2 at the Pilot 1 schools in 2015 and 2016, compared with the results obtained for the other Bærum schools. The same applies to Class 3, with the exception of arithmetic, where we see negative results as a consequence of being a pilot school and having used tablets. This differs to what we see in the results of the National Tests for Class 5 in 2015 and 2016, where we note significant positive outcomes with respect to arithmetic and English among boys at the pilot schools, compared with Class 5 boys at the other Bærum schools. The findings is only based on the first nine months from the implementation of tablets and therefore a second cohort of research is recommended in order to validate and elaborate on these preliminary findings.
This article is part of a research project aimed to broaden the understanding of the established gap between policies regarding the use of digital technology and the actual use of digital technology in Norway. To understand this gap we have conducted a comparative study between teacher education in Norway and teacher education in New Zealand, two countries with quite different approaches to implementing digital technology in education. We found several interesting differences between the countries. The regression analysis and the correlation analysis show that the professional use of digital tools correlates with the teacher educators’ level of digital competence in New Zealand. On the other hand, in Norway the professional use of digital tools correlates stronger with teacher educators’ attitudes towards digital technology in education. Attitudes has a stronger influence (impact) than digital competence regarding to what extent digital tools are being used in Norway, and digital competence has a stronger influence than attitudes regarding to what extent digital tools are being used in New Zealand.
3-2018, Volume 13
Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy (NJDL) is aimed at researchers, school authorities, school leaders in primary and secondary schools, teachers in primary and secondary education, at colleges and universities, and others concerned with education and ICT.
The journal contains peer-reviewed articles, conference papers, debates and commentaries, software and book reviews. Through dissemination of national and international research, the journal contributes to the debate on education policy. The journal aims at creating a platform for the critical analysis of digital literacy and competence, and the use of ICT in educational context. Moreover the aim is to stimulate dialogue between different participants in the field. Upon reception, the editor evaluates all submissions. After editor screening, approved contributions are sent to at least two anonymous international reviewers.
Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy has a focus on articles that deal thematically with digital literacy and the use of ICT in educational settings. Papers can among others be targeted on the following themes:
ICT use and innovation in education
Theoretical, methodological and practical challenges around the use of ICT in education
ICT in subjects (didactic context)
Evaluation and development
Learners’ work and learners’ ICT skills
Teachers, teacher education and classroom management
Gréta Björk Guðmundsdóttir
Ove Edvard Hatlevik
Birgitte Holm Sørensen
Design: Type IT AS
Typeset: Laboremus Sandefjord AS
ISSN online: 1891-943X
The journal is published in collaboration with the -Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training
© Scandinavian University Press / Universitetsforlaget 2018