The difficulties of the few and the challenges of the many : Understanding the use of integrated digital technologies in schools with activity theory

University essay from Umeå universitet/Pedagogiska institutionen

Abstract:

The outset of the thesis was in answer to an underdevelopment in the research on integrated digital technologies in schools. The purpose of the thesis was to understand the activity system of using an integrated digital technology in a municipality’s school organization. The research questions regarded different perceptions between organizational levels, as well as contradictions in the activity system and the consequences of these contradictions. A qualitative approach was chosen, where interviews were conducted with seven personnel in the municipal school organization, both principals and development workers. In analyzes, an activity theoretical approach was used to expand the understanding of the activity system. Main findings included a detailed representation of perceptions of informants, as well as contradictions in the activity system. The contradictions were related to many components of the activity system with varying consequences to both organization and individual. Specifically, findings indicate that integrated digital technologies require certain institutional assumptions, and many difficulties and challenges are related to the intent of having many stakeholders of school organizations interacting in the same integrated technology.

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