Chair of the network:
Kristiina Kumpulainen, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki
Kristiina Kumpulainen is Professor of Education and Scientific Director and founding member of the Playful Learning Center at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki, Finland. She also co-leads the Learning, Culture and Interventions research community in her faculty. She has led numerous research projects and published widely on socioculturally informed studies on children’s agency and learning across early years and primary education, cultural institutions and homes. Her research has addressed pedagogies and learning environments that create opportunities for creative, playful and participatory learning. Her ongoing research projects include the Joy of Learning Multiliteracies funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and Learning by making: The educational potential of school-based makerspaces for young learners’ digital competencies funded by the Academy of Finland. She chairs the Nordic Research Network on Researching Digitalising Childhoods funded by the NOS HS program.
For more information: https://researchportal.helsinki.fi/en/persons/kristiina-kumpulainen
Co-ordinator: Dr. Anu Kajamaa, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki
Anu Kajamaa is a PhD and Docent (Associate Professor) and co-leader of the Learning, Culture and Interventions research group (LECI) at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki. Anu is a passionate researcher, supervisor and a pedagogically qualified teacher. Her current research focuses on children’s learning, development and creativity in school-based makerspaces, in an Academy of Finland funded research project “Learning by Making: The Educational Potential of School-Based Makerspaces for Young Learners’ Digital Competencies” (iMake), led by Professor Kristiina Kumpulainen. Anu received her PhD in 2012. Her award-winning doctoral dissertation is a study of change management and long-term evaluation of organizational change efforts within formative interventions. She is an expert in sociocultural- and practice based theories, qualitative research methods and participatory intervention techniques. She has conducted extensive collaborative research projects and Change Laboratory interventions in schools, teacher education, health care and social care, and entrepreneurship contexts. In these projects, novel activity and management models have been co-designed and successfully implemented in practice. Anu has produced multiple refereed publications in national and international journals. For more information, please see her homepage.
Dr. Jenni Vartiainen
Jenni Vartiainen is a researcher at the University of Helsinki. Her main research interests are young children’s playful science education, scientific literacy, and digitalized learning in formal and informal learning environments. Her current research project is “Joy of Learning Multiliteracies” (www.monilukutaito.com). Jenni is also active in popularizing science. She has manuscript a science TV-show for children and acted in it and she has written science-related books for children and teachers.
Heidi Sairanen is a doctoral student in the School, Education, Society and Culture doctoral programme in the Faculty of Educational Sciences at University of Helsinki. Her doctoral thesis focuses on agency in early years learning contexts and is related to ‘The Joy of Learning Multiliteracies’ development program (www.monilukutaito.com). Her research interests include also multimodalities, multiliteracy, literacy activities and participatory research methods. She is part of an expert group called Learning, Culture and Interventions and she has been involved in establishing the University of Helsinki’s Playful Learning Center (http://plchelsinki.fi). She has an MA in education and she is a qualified kindergarten teacher.
Alexandra Nordström is a PhD student in the School, Education, Society, and Culture Doctoral Programme at the University of Helsinki. She holds a Master of Social Sciences with focus on educational sociology. She is a member of the Playful Learning Center, and the Learning, Culture and Interventions expert group (LECI) in the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki. Her research interests include young children’s emotion and affect, interaction, participation, and multiliteracies pedagogy. Alexandra’s current project is ‘The Joy of Learning Multiliteracies’ research and development programme. For more information, please see her homepage.
Jenny Renlund holds a Master of Arts in General and Adult Education, and currently works as a project worker in the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki. Her research interests include young children and emergent literacy, multiliteracies, environmental education, digital literacy, interaction, peer dialogue, meaning making, affective and aesthetic dimensions of learning and equal learning opportunities. Jennys current research project is “Learning by Making: The Educational Potential of School-Based Makerspaces for Young Learners’ Digital Competencies” (iMake). She is also part of the expert group Learning, Culture and Interventions (LECI) and a member of the Playful Learning Center.
Chinny Wong (Chin-Chin, Wong) is a project planner in the Playful Learning Center and the Joy of Learning Multiliteracies (MOI) research program at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, the University of Helsinki. She is also a doctoral student in the School, Education, Society and Culture doctoral programme and a member of the Learning, Culture and Interventions expert group (LECI). Chinny has several years of design experience in the educational toy industry and start-up entrepreneurship to promote playful learning in local schools in Hong Kong. She holds a Master of Creative Sustainability in design discipline of Aalto University and her main research interests are sustainability education, ecological literacy, playful learning, multiliteracies, application of design thinking in teaching profession, co-creation and participatory methods.
Professor Kirsten Drotner, University of South Denmark
Kirsten Drotner is professor of media studies at the University of Southern Denmark and director of two national R&D programmes DREAM and Our Museum. Her research interests include children’s media and information literacies, digital co-creation and creative learning, and digital museum communication. She has lectured and taught in more than 20 countries around the world, and she has been a research fellow and visiting professor in Canada, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and the USA. She is (co-)author and (co)editor of more than 30 books and over 200 scholarly articles and book-chapters, most recently The Routledge Handbook of Museums, Media and Communication (co-edited, 2018). She has served on a number of national and European research councils, committees and panels including being chair 2012-15 of the Humanities Scientific Committee at Science Europe. An elected fellow of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, the Academia Europaea, the International Communication Association and recipient of the Association’s Applied Research Award, she is passionate about bringing research evidence to bear on policies and practices.
Ane Bjerre Odgaard, University of South Denmark
I am an associate professor at University College South Denmark, Department of social educator training, within day-care- and school pedagogy. During 2016-2019 I am also a PhD-fellow at University of Southern Denmark. My main research interest is the ways in which digital technologies are employed within day-care- and primary school institutional settings. In my PhD project I empirically investigate activities where pedagogues and children, during the children’s transition from day-care institution to primary school, use digital technologies for the co-production of multimodal e-books and photo-collections that deal with what is pedagogically framed as “things and places that the children point out as important to them within their changing institutional environments”. Over two years, these activities were developed in collaboration between pedagogues/teachers and me as a researcher and were recurrently tried out and further developed as transition activities involving children in the four participating day-care institutions and two primary schools. I empirically investigate what activities emerged during the children’s and pedagogues’ co-production of digital content, as well as during the processes where children and pedagogues dialogically revisited this digital content at a later point during transition. I approach these activities from a sociocultural perspective and with an interest in practice theory, focusing on how social interaction and tool mediation unfold, as well as on how transition is being contextualized in the activities. Methodologically, I am interested in possibilities and constraints associated with socioculturally informed design experiments that do not claim to warrant best practice through linear improvement, but instead promote a modest approach towards actualizing practices through design experiments, implying that the empirical activities, and not the design experiment, is the unit of analysis, whereas the latter may (or may not) be observable as one among many resources structuring the activity as it unfolds.
Thomas Enemark Lundtofte, Ph.D. fellow in Media Studies, University of Southern Denmark
I research children’s practices with media. This encompasses digital technologies as well as film and television, literary texts, toys, etc. In my research I aim to provide emic perspectives, arguing that we should also study children’s practices according to their own sense of what is meaningful. This perspective has led me to focus on play practices in most of my research. Apart from theories on play and media, I am also inspired by new child sociology, practice theory and post-humanist perspectives. Following this approach, it is in the context of everyday practices the meaningful in media is actualized through routines and knowledge-sharing. My Ph.D. project is about how young children (4 to 6 years) play with tablet computers. I have conducted media ethnographic fieldwork in the homes of seven Danish children using a “Points-of-View” video method developed within the framework of my project. My research on young children’s play practices with tablet computers centres on their use of DR Ramasjang – an app provided by the National Danish Broadcasting Company (DR), which is very commonly used by young children in Denmark. I believe the importance of this type of research is underscored by the increasing connectedness of toys and media offered to children. It contributes to understanding children’s culture, but also towards regulating a digital marketplace where children remain insufficiently protected as consumers, and improving digital literacy and citizenship across social arenas.
Professor Sólveig Jakobsdóttir, University of Iceland
Sólveig Jakobsdóttir is an associate professor at the University of Iceland – School of Education. She is head of RANNUM – the Centre for Educational Research on ICT and Media at the same institution. She has a B.S. degree in Geology and a teacher’s license from the University of Iceland and taught math and chemistry in high school for three years before heading to Minnesota for graduate studies. She completed M.Ed. and PhD degrees in Educational Technologies at the University of Minnesota. Her PhD thesis in 1996 was on elementary school computer culture with a focus on gender differences. After returning to Iceland Sólveig became a project manager at the Icelandic Educational Network and later an assistant professor at Iceland University of Education which merged with University of Iceland in 2008. Her research and development work has been focused on teacher professional development and ICT; distance education, online and blended learning at the secondary and tertiary level; ICT and school development, learners‘ computer and Internet use, literacies and skills in and out-of-school, and digital citizenship. Recent and current projects include evaluation of tablet computers and mobile learning in schools; makerspaces in education; supporting educators’ communities of practice of teachers with digital habitats and educamps (or TeachMeets); and MOOCs for professional development e.g. in the area of digital citizenship.
Skúlína Hlíf Kjartansdóttir, University of Iceland
Skúlína Hlíf Kjartansdóttir works as an adjunct at the University of Iceland – School of Education. She is a board member of the Centre for Educational Research on ICT and Media (RANNUM) and The Centre for Research on Creativity in Education (RASK). She completed a B.Ed in educational sciences in 1982 and a diploma in applied arts from Iceland University of Education in1983. She also has a BA in 3D Design from Camberwell College of Art (1989) and an MA in site specific sculpture from Wimbledon School of Art (1995). She worked as games designer on Sony games for five years in Liverpool, UK, and later as a quality manager on the MMOG EVE Online at CCP games in Iceland, 2001-2003. Her work experience furthermore includes culture management, software testing and quality assurance management, content direction and web editing. She has served as a teacher at most school levels, where she has taught art & crafts, metalwork, design & digital media. She now lectures at the University of Iceland / School of Education where she also studies for a PhD in the field of connected learning with mobile technologies in the compulsory school in Iceland. The research focuses on the impact of mobile learning technologies on school culture and learning, multiliteracies, personalization in learning, agency, creativity and collaborative learning. Her research cases have centered on implementation of tablets in the compulsory school, the Biophilia Educational Project and, more recently, on makerspaces and their educational value.
Key research interests:
Mobile learning, learning across contexts, students’ identity and agency, multimodal literacy, computer games in education, creativity and innovation, maker culture.
Sólveig Zophoníasdóttir, University of Iceland
Sólveig Zophoníasdóttir is a PhD student at the University of Iceland – School of Education, adjunct at the Faculty of Education at the University of Akureyri, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and specialist at the Centre of School Development at the University of Akureyri.
Her research focus is on learning and teaching in digitally rich environment, student interaction (voice and democracy), creativity and agency. She has a MEd degree in pedagogy and education from the University of Iceland, Dipl.Ed degree in information technology and media from Iceland University of Education and B.Ed degree from the University of Akureyri, special subject: Art. She has worked on projects with teachers with the aim of increasing programming in a effective and creative way in schools.
Her PhD supervisor is Dr. Sólveig Jakobsdóttir.
Dagbjört Guðmundsdóttir, University of Iceland
My name is Dagbjört Guðmundsdóttir and I am a Phd student at the University of Iceland, studying linguistics. I have a BA degree in Icelandic since 2016 and an MA degree in Icelandic linguistics since 2018. My main interests are language change and variation and the effects language contact has in that matter, especially in the new ongoing digital language contact situation in Iceland, where English is becoming more and more dominant. Social factors like speakers attitudes are part of my main interests and research theme as they matter greatly in this contexts.
Since 2016, at the beginning of my MA in Icelandic linguistics, I have participated in a research project, Modelling the Linguistic Consequences of Digital Language Input [MoLiCoDiLaCo], which was financed by a Grant of Excellence from the Icelandic Research Fund, awarded to Sigríður Sigurjónsdóttir and Eiríkur Rögnvaldsson, professors at the University of Iceland. The project aims to investigate and model the linguistic consequences of digital language contact, using the rise of English in the Icelandic language as a test case. My masters thesis was written in spring 2018 as a part of the project. The aim of the thesis was twofold; first to find out what research can tell us about digital language input and possible effects on the Icelandic language, and second to map the digital language input participants in MoLiCoDiLaCo are exposed to and to find out whether they are positive towards productive use of English, in reference to age, using data from the project.
In my PhD project I am focusing on syntactic variation in Icelandic youth language and the effects various language input, especially digital language input, and attitudes have on Icelandic adolescent‘s language.
Co-ordinator: Professor Åsa Mäkitalo, University of Gothenburg
Åsa Mäkitalo is Professor of Education at Gothenburg University, with an educational background in human resource and organisation studies. Since 2006 she has been a co-director of LinCS, a CoE in Research on Learning and IT. In 2010 she established the University of Gothenburg LETStudio – a network of scholars conducting interdisciplinary research on how technologies are intertwined in core activities in society with a focus on the transformation of knowledge and learning practices. She recently edited Memory practices and learning. Interactional, institutional and sociocultural perspectives, Information Age Publishing (2017) and Designs for experimentation and inquiry: Approaching learning and knowing in digital transformation, Routledge (forthcoming, 2019).
Mäkitalo is currently engaged in a research project funded by the Swedish Research Council where she studies the uptake of digital methods in upper secondary school, introduced for students to map technoscientific controversies online. In the context of DigiChild she takes an interest in young civic engagement – how issues of concern are mobilised, shared and collectively maintained among the young and how technologies are implicated in their making.
Associate professor Annika Lanz-Andersson, University of Gothenburg
Annika Lantz-Andersson is Associate Professor in Education and Vice Dean at the Faculty of Education, University of Gothenburg. She has been a member of a national centre of excellence funded by the Swedish Research Council; the Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS), since the start in 2006. She is also a member of the University of Gothenburg’s strength area of learning research (LETStudio). Lantz-Andersson’s research is rooted in sociocultural traditions with a dialogic focus on social interaction, the use of digital technologies and their implications for learning and teaching. She has been involved in several research projects concerning young peoples’ participation and learning in contemporary media ecologies and investigates communication, socialization, and learning when digital technologies are part of the interactions. Her interest is motivated by the expansive digitization implying that children have access to digital texts tools from an early age, which raises questions about what these changes on a general level mean for their literacy development and learning. This interest has also involved young peoples’ interaction and socialization in social media arenas and the implications for learning in these contexts. Lantz-Andersson has for example studied children’s learning with various digital recourses in preschool and preschool class settings and in middle-school and upper secondary-school classrooms as well as the role of teachers in such contexts. Currently, she has directed her research towards teachers’ professional digital competence, and the latest research project has had a specific focus on teachers’ professional learning by means of interacting in social media groups, outside common structures and school organizations. Lantz-Andersson has a long experience of conducting analyses of video documented classroom interactions as well as analyzing online discussions.
Publications in selection
Lantz-Andersson, A., Lundin, M., & Selwyn, N. (2018). Twenty years of online teacher communities: A systematic review of formally-organized and informally-developed professional learning groups. Teaching and Teacher Education, 75, 302-315. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tate.2018.07.008
Lantz-Andersson, A. (2018). Language play in a second language: Social media as contexts for emerging Sociopragmatic competence. Education and Information Technologies, 23(2), 705-724.
Molin, L., Ghode, A-L., & Lantz-Andersson, A. (2018). Instructional challenges of incorporating aspects of critical literacy work in digitalised classrooms. Cogent Education, 5(1), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1080/2331186X.2018.1516499
Botö, K., Lantz-Andersson, A., & Wallestrstedt, C. (2018). Lärares lek och barns arbete: Litteracitetsaktiviteter i förskoleklassen. EDUCARE, 2 (4), 69-89.
Lantz-Andersson, A., Peterson, L., Hillman, T., Lundin, M., & Bergviken Rensfeldt, A. (2017). Sharing repertoires in a teacher professional Facebook group. Learning Culture and Social Interaction, 15, 44-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lcsi.2017.07.001
Lantz-Andersson, A. (2016). Embracing social media for educational linguistic activities. Nordic Journal of Digital literacy, 10(01), 51-77. DOI: 10.18261/issn.1891-943x-2016-01-03 https://www.idunn.no/dk/2016/01/embracing_social_media_for_educational_linguistic_activities
Lantz-Andersson, A., Vigmo, S., & Bowen, R. (2016). Students’ frame shifting – Resonances of social media in schooling. Learning, Media and Technology,41(2), 371-395. DOI:10.1080/17439884.2015.1051051
Molin, L., & Lantz-Andersson, A. (2016). Significant structuring resources in the reading practices of a digital classroom. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 15, 131-156.
Skantz Åberg, E., Lantz-Andersson, A., & Pramling, N. (2015). Children’s digital storymaking: The negotiated nature of instructional literacy events. Nordic Journal of Digital literacy, 10(3), 170–189. https://www.idunn.no/dk/2015/03/childrens_digital_storymaking_-_the_negotiated_nature_of_i
Fauville, G., Lantz-Andersson A., & Säljö, R. (2014). ICT tools in environmental education – reviewing two newcomers to schools. Environmental Education Research, 20(2), 248-283. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2013.775220
Thomas Hillman, University of Gothenburg
Ola Erstad is Professor and Head of Department of Education, University of Oslo, Norway. Professor Erstad is an internationally leading researcher with a focus on digital literacy, but firmly rooted in the wider social and cultural context of learning beyond the technological aspects. His areas of expertise are learning, technology and education, children and youth in modern society. He has been leading several national and international research projects and is part of several international networks and committees. He has been vice-chair of a COST Action on ‘The digital literacy and multimodal practices of young children (DigiLitEY)’, and is a board member of several international journals. In 2016, until 2019, he was elected as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of Science Europe. Recent books are Sefton Green, J. & Erstad, O. (Eds.) (2019). Learning Beyond the School: International Perspectives on the Schooled Society. London: Routledge, Erstad, O. & Smette, I. (Eds.) (2018). Ungdomsskole og ungdomsliv. Læring i skole, hjem og fritid. Oslo: Cappelen Damm Akademisk 2017, Erstad, O., Gilje, Ø., Sefton Green, J. & Arnseth, H. C. (2016). Learning Identities, Education and Community. Young lives in the cosmopolitan city. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, and Erstad, O., Kumpulainen, K., Makitalo, Å., Schrøder, K.C., Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, P. & Jóhannsdóttir, T. (Eds.) (2016). Learning across Contexts in the Knowledge Society. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
Kenneth Silseth is Associate Professor at Department of Education, University of Oslo. He specializes in sociocultural and dialogic approaches to young people’s learning, meaning making and identity processes. Among his research interests are technology-enhanced learning; classroom interaction; everyday experiences as resources for learning in school and learning identity. Silseth has published articles on topics such as game-based learning, multimodal composition, simulations, contextualizing instruction, social media, and digital storytelling, in journals such as International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative, Instructional Science, Assessment in Education and Learning, Culture and Social Interaction. Silseth also leads the research group Living and Learning in the Digital Age at the Faculty of Education.