INTEGRATING DIGITAL LITERACY IN TEACHER EDUCATION - THE PERPETUAL CHALLENGE OF A LEARNING ORGANIZATION
Stockholm University (SWEDEN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Swedish teacher education has been subject to criticism for not providing teachers-to-be with sufficient training in the pedagogical use of ICTs. In 2005, a nationwide initiative was launched by the Swedish Knowledge Foundation in order to improve this situation in teacher education. One of the projects, called LIKA (Learning, Information, Communication, Administration), brought together four institutions of higher education in Stockholm region in a joint endeavor to integrate ICTs in teacher education. This six-year project engaged approx. 600 teacher educators and 6 000 teacher students in 245 different activities with the scope of integrating digital literacy in teacher education programs within the participating institutions.
In this paper, we analyze the experiences from LIKA project that aimed at taking a novel approach to ICT implementation combining the latest technology with participatory and collaborative approaches to teaching and learning. The project applied a holistic model emphasizing at one hand the importance of regarding theoretical, pedagogical, and technical competences as equally relevant parts of digital literacy, and on the other hand, the importance of including all aspects of teaching profession into the system of competence development i.e. Learning, Information, Communication and Administration (LICA=LIKA).
The purpose of this paper is twofold: we will describe and analyze the project from the point of view of two active participants. Our differing roles in the project will give us two complementing perspectives to the project: one overall institutional perspective of a process leader and the other, department level perspective of a digital competence responsible who comes closer to the individual teacher educators and their immediate working environment.
For the purpose of a follow-up, we will revisit the project sites through a survey and see whether the central ideas from the project still define the competence development and organizational learning activities at departments that are involved in teacher education, and what kind of new developments have taken place since the end of the project period in 2013.
The survey responses indicate that crucial issues for the integration of digital literacy remain the same over the years: how to create and maintain a learning organization in the academic environment of higher education, and how to preserve a functioning, up-to-date notion of digital literacy. Our respondents maintain that digital literacy has increasingly become a part of everyday practices in teacher education. However, the challenges of dispersed teacher education programs involving several departments and the strenuous working conditions of teacher educators make it hard to develop the notion of digital literacy and make ICTs an inspiring part of their pedagogic practice.
Keywords: Digital literacy, teacher education, competence development, learning organisation, sustainability.