Educational technologies for the benefit of students
By Yngve Troye Nordkvelle
This issue of Seminar.net offers four different experiences on how students can gain from using educational technologies. In the article "Adopting digital skills in an international project in teacher education", associate professor Hugo Nordseth of Nord-Trøndelag University College present the aims of a project aimed at making students in teacher training able to collaborate across national borders and contexts. The project demonstrates the feasibility of training students to use new technologies that offer opportunities for learning. Nordseth emphasizes the importance of proper training in the selected tools.
Professor Ragnhild Nilsen, of the University of Tromsø, presents her article "Digital Network as a Learning Tool for Health Sciences Students", as an example from studies in health. She presents how an online learning module for health sciences students with different educational backgrounds was implemented at the University of Tromsø (UiT). The intention was to improve communication and cooperation abilities across professional boundaries. The purpose of this article is to examine how participation in a joint, web-based course can be a didactic tool that helps health sciences students learn from one another by means of collaboration. Yvonne Fritze and Yngve Troye Nordkvelle, both editors of the journal present their article "Online dating and education". The research was carried out in their home institution, Lillehammer University College.Taking its inspiration from Luhmann's communication theory, this article looks at online dating from the perspective of teaching and education. The findings of this project indicate that students do use netdating as an experience and that quite a few of them find this valuable for their own communicative skills. The article explores those features of online dating characteristic of distance dialogue, and discusses the extent to which these can be transferred to communication in the teaching context. The article was first presented in a book published in Danish (Michael Paulsen & Lars Qvortrup (ed.) (2007) Luhmann og dannelse, København: Unge Pædagoger). This version provides extended discussions of the implications for flexible education. In the final article, with the title "Developing Contextual Knowledge Arenas in the Global Classroom", associate professor Siv Oltedal of Nordland University, discuss challenges in the development of contextual knowledge arenas by focusing on how the contextual perspective is brought into a masters program in social work. She explores the development of different knowledge areas and how they offer different learning opportunities for a group of international students.