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#0347: Researching ICT and learning is exciting!

Gjest: Barbara Wasson

Professor and director of University of Bergen

Med Vert Silvija Seres

In this episode of #LØRN, Silvija talks with Barbara Wasson, a professor and director at the University of Bergen, about how our current digital competence is not as high as it should be. Barbara, is currently working a professor in the Department of Information Science & Media Studies. She was one of the founders of Kaleidoscope, sat on the executive committee, and was the leader of its CSCL SIG with over 400 members. In the episode, Barbara and Silvija discuss how we are learning differently today, and how we can use that knowledge to get to a deeper level of learning. 

Full transcript (Available soon)

Who are you and how did you become interested in edtech (educational technology)?
I am a professor and researcher at UiB in the area of ​​“Technology Enhanced Learning” and director of a national research and competence center on learning analytics. I originally come from Canada where I have a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence where I was involved in developing an adaptive learning system to learn to program in LISP.

What is the most important thing you do at work?
Researching how ICT supports learning and supporting teachers in their professional practice - it is very difficult to know that ICT has a "positive" effect that many ask for. Everyone wants to know that there is better learning! 

What do you focus on within edtech?
Not edtech itself, but researches the use of eg edtech tools' use in learning.

Why is it exciting?
From my point of view, we need a lot of research on the use of ICT in and for learning - this is exciting - and demanding! I believe that we need a better understanding of how ICT affects learning and education (both in school and higher education).

What do you think are the most interesting controversies?
Developers of edtech are often ICT people who do not have a good enough understanding of the teachers and learners' needs and if you get a tool in school it is often difficult to get it out (if desired) - for example Learning Management Systems (or LMS systems) about which there is a very divided opinion.

Your own projects last year?
I am involved in many projects - I supervise 6 Ph.D. students and am involved in their research and at SLATE we have over 30 projects. Most projects have an aspect of learning analytics as part of the research.

Your other favorite examples of edtech internationally and nationally?
International: Duolingo (supports language learning and is mostly used in the world; started as a tool that supported "crowdsourcing translation of Internet texts").

National: Dragon Box is a Norwegian mathematics teaching tool where children learn through games

What do you think is relevant knowledge for the future?
Basic skills such as reading, writing, and arithmetic AND being curious and able to collaborate, think critically, and communicate. 

Main points from our conversation?
The use of ICT for learning and education is not new and it is important to look back and learn from what has been researched before. The most important thing is not the technology, but the pedagogical use of the technology how to use it in learning activity as teachers and how to learn with technology as a student


Samle deg med en venn eller en kollega for å se om du klarer å svare på spørsmålet nedenfor.

Spørsmål:Questioning how and why things are done the way they are done develops us as deep thinkers and problem solvers through what we learn rather than just accepting anything as knowledge without an understanding of how we can use it to our advantage. But why the need to distinguish between these?


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This is what you will learn:

Big data Learning centric analytics

Multi smart practice

The use of IT for learning and education is not a new thing, and we need to look back and learn from what we know from historical research.

- Barbara Wasson

This is University of Bergen

The University of Bergen (UiB) is an internationally recognised research university. Academic diversity and high quality are their fundamentals. UiB is the most cited university in Norway.There are seven faculties at UiB and there are close to 18 500 students at the university. Around 2 000 of these are international students. They employ more than 4 000 faculty and staff. PhD candidates are paid employees, making the doctoral degree at UiB particularly attractive for rising talent. About one in three graduating doctors are from outside Norway.