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Learning and IT

The Learning and IT group works with research, teaching, training, and collaboration. The focus of the group is on questions related to the conditions IT can offer for education and learning. Of particular interest are issues involving digitisation and access to information, reforming the conditions for education and training, and what changes mean for our view of learning and knowledge. One of the group’s key objectives is to offer a critical, research grounded approach to understanding the relationship between digital technologies and learning in a variety of knowledge domains. This work addresses both the opportunities and challenges of digital technology for the organisation of education and learning.

New forms of media use in education and society, such as computer games, social media and web-based learning, as well as how digital technologies change the conditions for the development of professional skills are well-established research interests within the group. These interests include analytical approaches such as advanced method development and design of technologies for learning, and the group is a driving force in the operation of a lab for video-based research.

Specific priorities for the group are to monitor and influence community and school debates on issues related to learning and IT, deepen our cooperation with various parts of the university, and recruit more staff to the area and to our ongoing education and research activities.

Themes within learning and IT

Our interest area is comprised of four themes with research groups that are oriented toward digital technologies in preschool and school, leisure and civil society, higher education, and working life.

Digital technologies in preschool, primary school and secondary school

This theme includes research, education, training, and collaboration addressing the changing conditions for education and learning that digital technologies imply. Moreover, it addresses questions about how digitisation and access to information is changing the conditions for schooling and what this means for our view of learning and knowledge. Both research and teaching activities carried out under this theme deal with the new opportunities but also the dilemmas that digital technology may introduce to the organisation of learning and education. Key examples of technologies under examination in this theme include learning platforms, social media, simulations, games, and digital tools in a variety of contexts in school.

Research in this theme takes the perspective that digital technologies are currently motivating significant changes in the ways we read, write, count, learn language and interact with information, studied children and students using and learning with digital techniques. An important objective of our empirical research on pre-primary to secondary education is to provide a reflective view of digital technologies and their relation to learning in different educational contexts.

Digital technologies in leisure activities and civil society

This theme includes research, teaching and collaboration on the conditions for learning in digitised leisure life and civil society. Work in this area deals with the impact of new media for learning and communication outside the business and public sectors.

As part of this theme, several research projects and courses have addressed issues of communication in virtual worlds, language and learning in social media, digital resources in child and youth leisure activities and associations, mobile technology use in public spaces, gaming culture as a learning environment, and computer games as a form of representation. Central to these activities is an interest in various informal learning processes in people's media habits, the consequences of the digital recreation of the knowledge, and potential applications for the ways people communicate, play and organise themselves outside of formal organisations can have for formal education.

The scientific work on these issues is permeated by a nuanced and critical approach. One goal of the work that is part of this research theme is to provide reliable knowledge to the discourses about issues that are often dominated by populist ideas and commercialised arguments.

Technology and epistemic changes in higher education

The theme of higher education includes courses, research and cooperation in areas such as higher education, learning, new technology, and professional training. A particular interest is questions of knowledge practices including how knowledge is changing and transforming the organisation of higher education and professional fields. We are also interested in how new technologies are engaged in aspects of training such as teaching situations, training approaches and focuses in professional programs, and new external demands on higher education.

Several research projects have examined how technologies for visualisation and simulation can both challenge, improve and mitigate risks in areas such as health, transport and design. The research also attends to the organisation and governance of Swedish, European and international university systems and how they relate to each other. Researchers who are active in this theme offer courses at both the second and third cycles in the field of higher education and training for groups of university teachers and students in the area of learning and IT.

An overriding goal for the work in this theme is to make the relationship between science and education visible, and to reveal how educational institutions can be supported thorough educational issues, educational research, and proven experience. In this way, the work in this theme contributes with a deepened understanding of the implications of ongoing changes in higher education such as how pedagogical questions can contribute to both problematising and developing the educational practices in teaching programmes.

Professions, knowledge and innovation

The transition to a post-industrial society involves extensive transformations of work life. The theme professions, knowledge and innovation addresses the effects of these transformations by, in particular, examining the ways that today's labor market is characterised by change and the need for continuous training. Medicine and other complex professions are increasingly dependent on technological solutions. A consequence of this rapid technological development is that the conditions for professional activity are continuously recreated.

Research in this area aims to promote understanding of this relationship - that is, the relationship between technological innovation and the development of skills.


Contact us

Thomas Hillman
e-post: thomas.hillman@gu.se

Steering group
Annika Lantz-Andersson
e-post: annika.lantz-andersson@ped.gu.se

Annika Bergviken Rensfeldt
e-post: annika.bergviken-rensfeldt@ped.gu.se

Louise Peterson
e-post: louise.peterson@ped.gu.se

Oskar Lindwall
e-post: oskar.lindwall@ped.gu.se

Katerina Cerna, doktorandrepresentant
e-post: katerina.cerna@gu.se

Our blog

The Learning and IT blog (in Swedish):


Page Manager: IPKL webbredaktion|Last update: 8/28/2019

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