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What happens when teaching becomes digital?

Published: 8 December 2020

A network project for researchers in the field of educational science has been created, with headquarters at Luleå University of Technology.
– Among other things, we will explore what the digitalisation of teaching means for teacher educators and teacher students, Eva Alerby and Niclas Ekberg says.

In addition to Luleå University of Technology, the UIT University of Norway's Arctic University , in Tromsö, University of Akureyri in Iceland, and the University of Helsinki in Finland, participate in the network.
– It is a three-year project where we will, among other things, study what happens when teaching takes place digitally and you are not in the same physical space, says Eva Alerby, professor of education and coordinator of the network.

Gathers researchers

The project, Mind the Body: Renegotiating educational concepts and practices in digitalized teacher education, has been granted one million kronor from the Swedish Research Council. The network will begin the work in January 2021.
– It became extra interesting in these Corona times. We did not know that when we wrote this application for funding, says Eva Alerby.
The project includes exchanging experiences and visiting each other.
– We want to gather researchers at the four universities, but also invite interesting and leading researchers to these meetings. We are also interested in those who work in the school to participate for exchange of needs and challenges. We train the teachers of the future, says Niclas Ekberg, Senior Lecturer in education.

Pedagogical-philosophical perspective

Among other things, workshops will be arranged at the universities.
– We have a pedagogical-philosophical perspective. In the workshops, we will address different themes such as physicality, spaciousness and timeliness. What happens to the room when the physical room shifts and we sit in completely different places? What happens to the body? Are we present even if we are sitting at a distance? What happens to the interaction between people when we have a screen between us? We are interested in that, says Eva Alerby.

Niclas Ekberg states right now that many are testifying to the rapid transition and challenge to digital teaching.
– But the teacher educations in particular have many distance educations as standard. The same applies to several of the higher education institutions
that participate in this network, says Eva Alerby.