University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för pedagogik, kommunikation och lärande

Abstract: Purpose: The overall purpose of this study is to explore possibilities and challenges in the digital classroom of a secondary school. More specifically the focus is on teachers’ and students’ perceived possibilities and challenges in classroom activities that are mediated by digital tools and what becomes significant structuring recourses in this interaction. Theory: A sociocultural perspective of learning has functioned as a basis for this study in the analysis of the various aspects in activities with digital tools, put forward by the teachers and students in the interviews. These aspects are analysed in terms of what becomes significant structuring recourses for the teachers’ and students’ work in the classroom activities. The concept structuring resource is here defined as everything in the context that is made use of when people act in situations. Method: A case study method is used in this research. The main empirical data consists of recorded semi-structured interviews that were generated at a secondary school in Sweden, which were transcribed. To serve as background data, unstructured observations were also conducted. A thematic analysis was employed to work with the data. Results: Findings from this study reveal several possibilities and challenges in a digital classroom. By means of thematic analysis some of the aspects that appear as structuring resources for the students and the teachers were shown. Perceived possibilities were organizing learning, supportive opportunities for the teacher, and possibilities with the subject specific teaching material. Perceived challenges were technical problems, decreased learning opportunities, difficulties for the teacher, and challenges with the subject specific teaching material. As has been suggested in previous research, the teachers’ scaffolding can be seen as a main structuring resource for students’ classroom activities, but the digital tools also provide structuring resources in terms of positive aspects as for example individualization, information gathering, accessibility and more negative aspects in terms of distraction.

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