Jönköping University's doctoral students, Johan Bäcklund and Lars Almén, visited the POPUPDIGIT annual event in Gothenburg on 18 June.
Some concluding remarks on the PopUpDig19 conference in Gothenburg June 18:
The PopUpDig conference, arranged by Gothenburg University, is an annual conference with teachers and school administrators as its main target groups. Keynote speakers are both researchers and actors from the educational sector, such as municipalities and governmental institutes. This year’s conference could be concluded in three words: collaboration, multimodality, and sustainability.
In the conference were a number of successful collaborations between different actors presented, e.g. between universities and municipalities (Charlotte Arkenback-Sundström, Gothenburg University), or between governmental institutions and municipalities (Anders Pettersson, RISE).
Several keynote speakers, e.g. Associate Professor Øystein Gilje, Oslo University, and Professor Jonas Linderoth, underlined the importance of multimodality in educational settings. Digital tools are a possibility among others, e.g. text books, in a multimodal classroom.
Digital tools can promote a sustainable society, which Niclas Börjesson (REturen – The Municipality of Gothenburg), presented. With both digital tools, e.g. 3D printers, and traditional tools, REturen promote the visiting pupils creativity and awareness of sustainability.
One reflection made about the digitalization of the Swedish school system, thinking of teaching and learning. A comparison with the car industry (!) can actually be rather helpful when thinking about where we are, and where we are going. A general aspect of the digitalization of our schools, seem to be that the end goal is when everything but the digital tools are left. This is perhaps a grave generalization just to make a point and, of course, this is not where we are now, not even close. And better yet: Is this where we want to go? Herein lies the reflection: we are not nearly there yet, but we seem to be more in a hybrid state. Compare this to the car industry; there are quite a few older cars still going strong but the hybrid market is closing in, as well as there are a few alternatives to go full battery. But the thing is that we do not know whether digital is better when it comes to teaching and learning. Today’s teachers (plenty, not all) tend to go digital when they see benefits from using the technology, if not, they choose to work with what’s been proven before. Some teacher just use digital tools to meet the demands of the syllabus. And, of course, there are the Teslas; teachers who go all-in on digital technology. Perhaps the bulk of all teachers are not hybrids just yet, but I would like to think that most are between the analogue and the full-scale digital. Perhaps the hybrid state is what is best right now and we’ll see how long it stays that way. Let’s see where the car industry (Ooops: School) is in a few years.