Vol. 13 - Issue 1 2017 - ISSN 1504-4831
Monday, 11 December 2017

Exploring the learning context in shifts between online and offline learning

By Karen Borgnakke

FlowerIn this issue we have collected papers related to the conference called Rethinking Educational Ethnography: Researching on-line communities and interactions. The articles address issues based on ethnographic approaches and case studies on the implementation of digital technology in different learning context.

The articles reflect on the multi-sited research coping with ICT and learning in shifting online offline settings. In many respects, the shift and the tendencies to blend strategies are a challenging part of the educational development combined with the need for research-based evaluation of the blended practice. This involvement raises basic questions to ethnographers: How to explore the learning context and the shift between online and offline in the fields of practice? How to observe and collect data about formal/non-formal learning? How to analyze the learning space and processes?

The papers mirror these research issues and mirror the challenges to enhance the qualitative and empirical research in secondary, upper secondary schools and in higher education. The authors represent the new mode of ethnography having the digital circuit integrated in the field of practice as well as in the methodological framework.

The articles relate to the fourth conference in Rethinking Educational Ethnography: Researching on-line communities and interactions organized by the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, the section of education at the university of Copenhagen, in collaboration with the research group Innovative Learning Context and with ECER Network 19.

The conference forms part of a long-term discussion that began in Helsinki at ECER 2010 and gave rise to the first annual Rethinking Educational Ethnography conference, held at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, University of Porto. The second and the third annual Conference was held at the University of Barcelona and at the University of Napoli. (References to the E-books) (see below)

Catarina Player-Koro, of University of Borås and Dennis Beach, of University of Gothenburg takes in the article “ICT-enabled innovation in technology rich schools?” its point of departure from the main findings from research into four upper secondary schools that have implemented digital technology through one-to-one laptop initiatives. The analysis reveals discourses and transformations showing that ICT is less important than what is often taken for granted in the educational change in Swedish upper secondary schooling.

Raquel Miño-Puigcercós and Juana M. Sancho-Gil of the University of Barcelona presents in the article “Learning by using digital media in and out of school” a context of schooling for which students increasingly become disengaged and frustrated. The article demonstrates how schooling can capture the lives of young people by using different media and offer students authentic learning experiences.

Raymond Kolbæk, of Hospital Central Jutland and Via University College in Denmark, presents his article “Nursing students’ attitudes towards ICT in education and clinic in Denmark”. His point of departure is the consistent scepticism nurses as well as nursing students practice towards the use of ICT in their professional area. His aim is to throw light onto how this reluctance is construed, using insights from Bourdieu and his notion of habitus.

Anita Lyngsø, of the University of Copenhagen and Via University College, follows in the article ”At Home with Students – Observing Online and Offline Contexts” the edict of ”following the field”. The article show the needs to enter students homes and observe them in the their own household, as well as observing their learning activities in their online virtual environment. The article discusses the challenges arising from the dicothomy of online and offline contexts, and shades light onto how the two contexts interact in the life of the students.

Karen Borgnakke, of The University of Copenhagen, presents her article “Coming Back to Basic Concepts of the Context”, in which she explores how traditional ethnography meets the online-learning contexts in various areas.Shifts between online- and off-line contexts presents a challenge for ethnographic methodology and analysis, and she explores how these could be met in scholastic, professional and academic learning contexts.

(Non-refereed papers)

Camilla Kirketerp Nielsen of the University of Copenhagen contributes with a shortpaper called “Ethnography in the Danish Veterinary Learning Environment”. Her project deals with an experiment on game-based profession-oriented learning. In the games the students are offered a training context in which they can practise interdisciplinary clinical skills in an interactive setting.

Janus Aaen of the Aarhus University, Denmark, presents his paper “Making Sense of Facebook: A Mixed Methods Approach to Analysing Online Student Groups”. In the paper he suggests that research on such fluid entities needs a more holistic understanding on how Facebook interacts with other media, as well as how students could be engaged as co-researchers in order to capture their voice.

Juana Maria Sancho-Gil,Fernando Hernández-Hernández and Rachel Fendler, all from theUniversity of Barcelona have written the article “Envisioning DIY learning in primary and secondary schools”. TheDIYLab (Do it yourself ) project seeks to explore the changes occurring in the last decade regarding digital competencies. The paper focuses in the Spanish primary and secondary school participating in the project.

Barcelona 2012:

Hernández Hernández, F., Fendler, R., & Sancho Gil, J. M. (Eds.). (2013).
Rethinking Educational Ethnography: Researching on-line communities and interactions. Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona - Dipòsit Digital. http://hdl.handle.net/2445/44009

Napoli 2013:

Rethinking Educational Ethnography: Researching on-line communities and interactions. Networked Together: Designing Participatory Research in Online Ethnography Paolo Landri, Andrea Maccarini, Rosanna De Rosa (Eds)
CNR-IRPPS e-publishing http://www.irpps.cnr.it/e-pub/ojs/index.php/mono/article/view/978-88-98822-02-7.

Copenhagen 2014:

Rethinking Educational Ethnography: Researching on-line communities and interactions
http://pur.mef.ku.dk/itaka/konferencer/ree/

Karen Borgnakke professor, Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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