Norwegian School of Sports Sciences (NORWAY)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN11 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Pages: 4822-4829
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117
Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc. has become an integral part of youth’s lives around the globe. Along with this development, peer-to-peer learning is emerging as important learning dynamic for today’s youth. Such learning happens in the context that involves very little formal instruction, that has no standard body of material or skill to be learned and where assessment and evaluation comes from the peers (Ito, 2008). In this paper we discuss learning a physical skill through informal peer-to-peer online learning in a group of self-organized youths in Oslo Norway.

Even after many new constructive, interactive and proactive teaching and learning strategies have been introduced to schooling in Norway in most topics, the physical education classes still harbor mainly deductive traditional instruction methods. That is, the involvement as well as skill acquisition is stimulated mainly through traditional, teacher led, learning strategies. However, if we look outside the school PE classes and the regular sport fields, we have during the last decade witnessed a decidedly different attitude toward choice of physical activities, hunt for inspiration and skill development.

We are witnessing a growth in new alternative movement activities (e.g. parkour, tricking and new types of dances) and numerous highly skilled adolescents engaged in these activities. These alternative sports that are also called life style sports seem to differ from regular sport according to how the participants involve, learn and develop (Wheaton, 2010). Physical education teachers hardly know these activities and at the first glance these activities as well as the performers seem to come from nowhere. However, the preliminary results of our exploratory study investigating learning strategies within a group of young free-runners, break-dancers, and ‘trickers’ in that meet at Norwegian School of Sports Sciences weekly to practice indicate that 1) these athletes representing the Z-generation and the Super Mario generation, also represent a first generation free-movers opposing classic Olympic sports, 2) they have entered the activity and developed skills by use of social media, and finally 3) they do not need and they do not want an instructor. In addition, a recent study shows that adolescents involved in similar activity contexts are more self-determined and thus more intrinsically motivated compared to other athletes (Bulie & Säfvenbom, 2011).

In this paper, we further discuss the experiences of this self organized youth movement group. We address how they structure, develop and assess their learning of physical skill derived from social media, mainly from the YouTube, and how the activity online and ‘on-site’ (studio, outside) overlap. Finally, we discuss the relevance of implementing social media into physical education classes at school, and why this implementation has not taken place yet.

Bulie, M & Säfvenbom, R. (2011). Self-determination and adolescents’ participation in organized vs. unorganized movement activities. The Norwegian School of Sport Sciences. Paper in progress
Ito, M. (2008). “Mobilizing the Imagination in Everyday Play: The Case of Japanese Media Mixes.” In Kirsten Drotner and Sonia Livingstone Eds., International Handbook of Children, Media, and Culture.
Wheaton, B. (2010). Introducing the consumption and representation of lifestyle sports. Sport in Society. Vol 13, Nr 7/8, pp. 1057 – 1081.
Peer-to-peer learning, online learning, physical education.