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Teachers' Digital Didactical Design: Towards Maker Movement Pedagogies In Tablet Mediated Learning
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Interactive Media and Learning (IML).
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Interactive Media and Learning (IML).
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Interactive Media and Learning (IML).
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper illustrates a project about digital didactical designs in one-to-one (1:1) computing classrooms in Sweden. The study focuses on schools in four municipalities with 1:1 media tablet (iPads) programs. In Sweden, there have been two major changes that have led to new situations and new challenges for schools. A new school reform started in 2011, at the same time there was a boom using mobile web-enabled technologies in teaching and learning. With the new national curriculum LGR 11 the main changes involves stronger guidance what teachers teaching should involve at the subject level, a new grading system and specific knowledge's students should achieve in school year 3, 6 and 9. The boom of mobile technologies highlights a shift away from separating Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and education (e.g. computer labs) (Henderson & Yeow, 2012) into co-located settings (De Chiara, Di Matteo, Manno, & Scarano, 2007). Mobile technology becomes part of classrooms; both merged into new spaces for learning – we call them co-expanded spaces. In general, we assume these new situations affect the designs of teaching and learning in different aspects. Results from our previous studies in Denmark indicate a shift in students' learning culture from consumption of content into production of content (Jahnke & Kumar, 2014) similar to what Hatch (2013) addresses as the maker movement culture. In this study, we explore how teachers meet the new challenges by studying the pedagogical communication. Specifically, from a Digital Didactics approach, we explore how the new situation affects didactical designs in such new settings where physical teaching and learning spaces are expanded by mobile technologies.


The aim of this study is to understand the teaching and learning designs-in-practice, especially the facets of such designs in co-expanded spaces. By studying the innovative teachers' didactical designs in media tablet classrooms, a particular focus is on the social relationship as a function of the teacher-student interaction and communication.

Research questions

1. How can the teacher-student relationships be described and understood in relation to tablet mediated learning classroom practice?

2. How can teachers' communication about tablet mediated teaching and learning be described and understood in relation to tablet mediated classroom practice?

3. How can the forms of teachers’ digital didactical designs be described and understood in relation to the curriculum?

Theoretical framework

For understanding the designs of media tablet classroom practices, we used two sets of theories. Firstly, Jahnke, Norqvist, & Olsson's (2014) approach of digital didactical design that is based on learning intentions, learning activities, assessment, and the social relations was applied for framing the analysis. In this paper the social relations constitute the teacher-student communication, which mirrors the teachers' didactical design. For understanding the teacher-student communication, Bernstein’s (2000) theory of classification and framing was applied. The concepts of classification and framing are translated into power and control relations. Classification highlights the relation between different categories. What turns a category into a unique category is its unique relationship to other categories. The uniqueness of a category is based on its specialisation e.g. teacher or student. The degree of specialisation creates boarders and a space between the categories as either strong or weak. The outcome of the classification analysis indicates practices of media tablet classrooms. These practices are further analysed through the relative concept of framing as either strong or weak. The concept of framing contributes to the understanding of the locus of control in the teacher-student relationship. The locus of control relates to several issues in the teacher student relationship, which reflects Bernstein’s concepts of selection, sequence, pacing and evaluation.

Methodology, Methods, Research Instruments or Sources Used

The methodology in this research project has been pre-tested in a pilot study in Denmark in 2012 to 2014. The qualitative method has been conducted to explore the teachers' designs in Swedish classrooms ranging from preschool to upper secondary school. Applying a purposeful sampling (Patton, 1990), schools were selected where teachers and pupils have been using media tablets longer than six months, preferably within a one-to-one computing program in which the pupils can also use the iPads at home. We focused on innovative teachers and early adopters (Rogers, 2003). In total we studied schools in four municipalities in Sweden in six clusters: one preschool, one preschool class (children at age 6), and classes in school years 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12. The schools have been visited two times during the school year 2014/2015. In total we have conducted 20 classroom observations and teacher interviews. Data collection The classroom observations were conducted of 2-3 observers. The field notes were developed, as close as possible to the observation, into thick descriptions (Kullberg, 2004) that are described as narrative, describing, analysing and interpreted. After the observations the thick descriptions were discussed until an agreement was reached among the researchers. During the observations the observer take notes, photos, short video recordings. Each lesson lasted between 40-60 minutes. The subjects range from Native Language, Math, Science, English, Spanish and Social studies. The class sizes were around 20 to 25 students in each class. The observations were followed up with teacher interviews. For the teacher interviews, a half-structured interview guide were used that is divided into five themes with sub-questions: (1) background (age, gender, years as teacher, teaching subjects; first "thought" when implementing iPads); (2) the teachers teaching; (3) Learning (4) Assessment (5) magic wizard offers three wishes (what would teacher wish). The interviews were conducted by at least two researchers; audio-recorded and transcribed. Each interview lasted for about 60 minutes. Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or FindingsFindings from the innovative media tablet classrooms indicate two sets of didactical designs. The first set of didactical design demonstrates a majority of blurred boarders between categories, ranging from teachers' organisation of desks in the classroom to the software applications used in teaching and learning. The second set of didactical designs illustrates designs based on clear boarders between categories, which indicates strong power relationships. These two sets of relationship between categories create two kinds of social relationship in the classroom. Media tablet classrooms based on weak classification indicates a pedagogical practice that involves students' decision making to a greater extent than in classrooms based on strong classification. The weak classification between categories in the classrooms becomes the underpinning framework for didactical designs where the media tablets are integrated for making products. The making of products demonstrates students' influence regarding the selection and sequence of content, for example when making films. With regard to the learning intentions in the curriculum, in students' creative work, the teachers' support student learning by using explicit and implicit criteria for keeping the right track in students' learning. An important issue concerns the sociological notion of sharing resources involving signs of changed communication and interaction patterns in the classrooms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
digital didactical design, media tablets, maker movement, sharing
National Category
Pedagogical Work
Research subject
educational work
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-109155OAI: diva2:855424
The European Conference on Educational Research (ECER), Budapest, 7-11 September 2015
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-09-21 Created: 2015-09-21 Last updated: 2016-06-10Bibliographically approved

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Bergström, PeterMårell-Olsson, EvaJahnke, Isa
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