Educational technology, digital literacy and teacher education: how do we build new knowledge rather than reproduce the old?
Dr. Richard Pountney, Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
Sheffield Institute of Education, Sheffield Hallam University
This keynote reports the findings of a project “Digital Futures in Teacher Education” (DeFT) undertaken in 2012 as part of the third phase of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) UK Open Educational Resources (OER) programme. It builds on previous work (Gruszczynska and Pountney, 2013a, 2013b) that has addressed attempts to embed OER practice within the teacher education sector, and which has informed practice in teaching and learning in the school system involving digital literacy. A framework for digital literacy is outlined, drawing heavily on socio-cultural models of digital practice (Davies and Merchant, 2014), that has the potential to re-imagine teachers and teaching, as well as learners and learning. At the same time, a missing piece of the puzzle is identified as the way in which educational technology knowledge itself is ‘specialised’ according to whether it addresses the ‘who’ rather than the ‘what’ of digital literacy (Howard and Maton, 2011). This framework takes into account current debates (primarily within the UK but of relevance to European perspectives) focusing on issues of ICT, digital literacy and media literacy in the curriculum, which reflect a tension between digital literacy as a set of skills and competencies on the one hand and understandings that arise from socio-cultural and communicative practices on the other. Current understandings of digital literacy in the context of teacher education and OER are explored and the potential for knowledge building in educational technology (Czerniewicz, 2010) is examined. This draws on data collected in the context of the DeFT project and includes meanings and perspectives on digital literacies as expressed by teachers and children. In terms of a digital future for teacher education the keynote highlights the need for practices, learning packages and tools to continue to evolve, in close cooperation with their potential users, and linked directly to classroom and schools as the site of this production.
Czerniewicz, L. 2010. Educational technology – Mapping the terrain with Bernstein as cartographer, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, Vol 26, No. 6, pp523–34
Davies, J. and Merchant, G. (2014) Digital Literacy and Teacher Education. In P.Benson and A. Chik Popular Culture, Pedagogy and Teacher Education: International Perspectives London: Routledge.
Gruszczynska, A., Merchant, G. and Pountney, R. (2013) Digital Futures in Teacher Education: Exploring Open Approaches towards Digital Literacy, The Electronic Journal of e-Learning Volume 11 Issue 3: 193-206
Gruszczynska, A. and Pountney, R. (2013a) Open Practice in International Teacher Education Case Study, Higher Education Academy report [available online at here]
Gruszczynska, A. and Pountney, R. (2013b) Developing the concept of Digital Literacy in the context of Schools and Teacher Education, Enhancing Learning in the Social Sciences Journal, Volume 5, Issue 1