two school girls using a tablet

Project: Digital Tools and Digital Competence in Preschool and School Teaching

In this project, we conducted research on what happens and what becomes possible when digital tools are used in preschool-class and school teaching, as well as on how such use affects preschool-children’s and pupils’ digital competence. Our research was carried out in close collaboration with practising teachers. Furthermore, the project team had close ties to the university’s teacher training programmes.

This project was concluded in December 2023.

Project information

Project manager
Marina Wernholm
Other project members
Andreas Ebbelind, Hanna Palmér and Emelie Patron, Linnaeus University; Kristina Danielsson, Stockholm University, Sweden
Participating organizations
Linnaeus University; Stockholm University, Sweden
The Board of Teacher Education (NLU) at Linnaeus University
1 Jan 2021–31 Dec 2023
- Pedagogy (Department of Pedagogy and Learning, Faculty of Social Sciences)
- Natural sciences didactics (Department of Education and Teachers' Practice, Faculty of Social Sciences)
- Mathematics education (Department of Mathematics, Faculty of Technology)
- Swedish didactics (Department of Swedish, Faculty of Arts and Humanities)

More about the project

The transdisciplinary research group Digital Tools and Digital Competence in Preschool and School Teaching was established in the form of a three-year research project during the period 2021–2023, with the support of the Board of Teacher Education’s strategic investment in research on digital tools and digital competence in preschool and school teaching. The research in this field has continued after the end of this project, in the reseach group The Digi Group.

The research was moulded around the theoretical concept of Design for Learning (DfL), according to which teaching and learning is to be seen as a form of multimodal design: the teacher stages, or designs, learning activities, thus giving the pupils access to different resources that enable meaning making; and the pupils in turn re-design their learning relative to their own circumstances, and based on their previous knowledge, interests, etc.

As part of the DfL framework, a model – Learning Design Sequence (LDS) – has been developed for teachers to use to plan and evaluate their teaching, and for researchers to use as an analytical tool in research studies. In the research project, three studies were carried out in which the use of digital animations in the teaching and learning of different subjects was studied, based on LDS.

Study 1

Study 1 contributes knowledge about what happens, and what becomes possible, when pupils in school year 2 create multimodal texts together in small groups, by studying the process in which pupils transform a story written by themselves, by hand, into a multimodal digital text. In this study, action cameras are used in a school environment to capture children’s perspectives on the process in which they create a multimodal digital text together with others.

Main project managers: Marina Wernholm and Kristina Danielsson.

Publication: Young Pupils’ Joint Creation of Multimodal Fairy Tales Using Analogue and Digital Resources.

Study 2

Study 2 focuses on how the creation of digital animations as part of working on a problem-solving task enables six-year-olds learning of combinatorics. The study is based on previous research on the same task and contributes knowledge about how children interact and create meaning in the process of creating multimodal representations of their solutions.

Main project managers: Andreas Ebbelind and Hanna Palmér.

Publication: Förskoleklasselever utforskar kombinatorik genom digitala animeringar.

Study 3

Study 3 focuses on how teachers may enable meaning making in science education by using different semiotic resources, such as physical models, role playing, and animations. The focus lies on what kind of learning is made possible when six-year-olds are working with creating their own digital animations of the molecular structure of water and the different phases of water, as well as on what signs of learning emerge in their creation of digital animations.

Main project managers: Emelie Patron and Marina Wernholm.

Publication: An Exploration of How Multimodally Designed Teaching and the Creation of Digital Animations can Contribute to Six-Year-Olds’ Meaning Making in Chemistry.

Related research

The project was part of the research in the research groups the Digi Group, Research on pedagogical professions and practices (PEPP), Litteracitet och undervisning (in Swedish) and Mathematics Education, and the Linnaeus Knowledge Environment Education in Change.