Network 13: ICT & Education
Children and young people are growing up in a multimedia environment where information and communication technology (ICT) is everywhere. Young people often even lead the way in embracing all kinds of technology. Nonetheless, the interaction with ICT is often achieved on an intuitive and sometimes irrational basis. Interacting with modern technology in a discerning and efficient yet responsible and safe way requires a new set of basic competences. In the light of their core task, educational establishments obviously provide outstanding opportunities for ensuring all parties (children, young people and adults) may boast these competences.

Technical progress has further more given rise to tremendous social changes and very different ways of living over the last decade. This process has been speeded up by the advent of the Internet. The pace of change has clearly accelerated in the case of networkbased services and applications. The huge upsurge in mobile communications, the wide variety of digital media, the extensive digitalization of data and – accordingly – the unprecedented availability and accessibility of information are just a sample of the implications.

Nordic research has among other things established that ICT is mostly used in education in the following contexts:

  1. ICT as object, which refers to learning about ICT. Mostly organised in a specific course. What is being learned depends on the type of education and the students’ level. Education prepares students for the use of ICT in education, future occupation and social life.
  2. ICT as an ‘assisting tool’. ICT is used as a tool, for example while making assignments, collecting data and documentation, communicating and conducting research. Typically, ICT is used independently from the subject matter.
  3. ICT as a medium for teaching and learning. This refers to ICT as a tool for teaching and learning itself, the medium through which teachers can teach and learners can learn. It appears in many different forms, such as drill and practice exercises, in simulations and educational networks.
  4. ICT as a tool for organisation and management in schools.

Aims: The aim of this network is to bring together researchers from the Nordic countries who address a broad scope of questions concerning the use of ICT in education. Also the network aims to stimulate the dialogue between Nordic researchers who work in the area of ICT and education. The goal is furthermore to invite researchers to establish research cooperation at a Nordic Level. Also the network has the intention of contributing to the development of research activities on ICT and education in the Nordic countries in order to intoduce Nordic research on the topic at an international level by being a central place for discussing theoretical and methodological issues.