Interaction between learners in an interactive learning environment

Jacob Davidsen, Marianne Georgsen

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaper without publisher/journalResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

A much debated issue within education in 2010 is; how children learn and what children should learn. Kress (2000) has argued that we need to educate children for instability and give them competences for the future rather than for yesterday. The question is what competences are needed in the future and how we are going to teach children of tomorrow. It is widely believed, also by policy makers, that technology can transform learning environments for both teachers and students. Over the past 10 years, the Danish government - like those in other countries - has been investing in interactive whiteboards (IWB) for schools. Besides investing in technology, teachers have been taught how to use technologies, more often that not without paying much attention to pedagogy. However, we see a tendency towards a change in focus, and gradually more attention is being paid to finding ways in which technology will transform the learning situation based on underlying learning principles such as dialogue, interaction and collaboration. Mercer et al (2010) describe what they call technical interactivity and dialogic interactivity and state that IWBs can change the interaction and participation patterns in the class depending on pedagogy. Mercer et al (2010) especially draw on Robin Alexander's (2008) ideas on dialogue inspired teaching. IWBs and a dialogue inspired learning approach can facilitate a space for co-construction of knowledge and meaning between the teacher and learners (Twiner et al., 2010; Mercer et al. 2010). However, such a learning design still requires a teacher to facilitate, manage and lead the participation and interaction patterns of the learners.

In this paper, we present an empirical long term study of class room interaction in a setting where technology is introduced to enhance collaboration between peer learners. For one year, the authors have followed the development of a learning practice and a learning design based on use of interactive touch screens. Methodologically, this research is based on action research, dialogue design and ethnographic methods. More than 150 hours of video have been recorded, capturing children working together with various artefacts, materials and assignments. In this paper, we present a learning design where students aged 8-9 are at the centre of the learning activities. Hence the young learners are given the responsibility to facilitate and negotiate interaction and participation patterns, thereby guiding their own learning activities with reference to the materials designed by the teacher. It might seem that the students direct their learning solely with technology, but this is not the case – the teacher is very important in this setup. Not as a knowledge provider in a classical sense, rather in a new and fairly unexplored role, where most the teacher-student interaction takes its’point of departure in the physical and academic position of the learner. In this way, the children guide each other and are guided by the teacher, both in relation to collaborative and academic issues.

In the paper, we bring forward perspectives on the creation of learning designs where students engage in dialogue and interaction in a shared workspace. Empirical studies show that children regulate their own learning processes and guide each other through activities in which they have shared objectives. Furthermore, this design requires active participation by the learners, thus giving each student a voice in class. Based on the empirical findings, it is further discussed how an interactive, learner centered approach can be supported by technology in teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date12 Apr 2011
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2011
EventCAL Conference 2011 - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Apr 201115 Apr 2011

Conference

ConferenceCAL Conference 2011
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityManchester
Period13/04/201115/04/2011

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learning environment
interaction
learning
dialogue
teacher
participation
interactive media
student
interaction pattern
learning situation
Teaching
action research
student teacher
learning process
artifact
video
responsibility
school
education

Cite this

Davidsen, J., & Georgsen, M. (2011). Interaction between learners in an interactive learning environment. Paper presented at CAL Conference 2011, Manchester, United Kingdom.
Davidsen, Jacob ; Georgsen, Marianne. / Interaction between learners in an interactive learning environment. Paper presented at CAL Conference 2011, Manchester, United Kingdom.2 p.
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Davidsen, J & Georgsen, M 2011, 'Interaction between learners in an interactive learning environment', Paper presented at CAL Conference 2011, Manchester, United Kingdom, 13/04/2011 - 15/04/2011.

Interaction between learners in an interactive learning environment. / Davidsen, Jacob; Georgsen, Marianne.

2011. Paper presented at CAL Conference 2011, Manchester, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaper without publisher/journalResearchpeer-review

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AU - Georgsen, Marianne

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M3 - Paper without publisher/journal

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Davidsen J, Georgsen M. Interaction between learners in an interactive learning environment. 2011. Paper presented at CAL Conference 2011, Manchester, United Kingdom.