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Media and Education in the Digital Age

Concepts, Assessments, Subversions

Edited By Matteo Stocchetti

This book is an invitation to informed and critical participation in the current debate on the role of digital technology in education and a comprehensive introduction to the most relevant issues in this debate. After an early wave of enthusiasm about the emancipative opportunities of the digital «revolution» in education, recent contributions invite caution, if not scepticism. This collection rejects extreme interpretations and establishes a conceptual framework for the critical questioning of this role in terms of concepts, assessments and subversions. This book offers conceptual tools, ideas and insights for further research. It also provides motivation and information to foster active participation in debates and politics and encourages teachers, parents and learners to take part in the making of the future of our societies.
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Teachers and the Challenges of Digital Technologies in Education: The Portuguese ‘e-escolinha’ Programme

Extract

Sara Pereira

Abstract

The media, old and new, are today a significant presence in the lives of children and youth, playing an important role in the way they learn and understand the world. Several studies show how the media are influential agents of socialization for the new generations, often more than family or school. Despite the recognized importance of the media in children’s lives, educational institutions are frequently closed to the media culture of the students, who leave their experiences and media practices outside the school walls. Based on the results of a survey of a group of primary school teachers, this paper aims to present and discuss the teachers’ perspectives on the place of digital media in education and its impact on educational practices. The questionnaires were distributed to 80 teachers from the third and fourth grades of basic education (8–10 years old), teaching in 30 primary public schools in the municipality of Braga, a city in the northern Portugal. Based on the Portuguese programme ‘e.escolinha’ whose aim is for every child in the 1st cycle of basic education to have access to a laptop named ‘Magalhães’, this paper aims to understand the uses of digital media, and in particular the uses of this computer, in school. The study highlights the motivations and the issues that underlie teachers’ acceptance or rejection in engaging with digital technologies in the classroom setting. In so doing, this chapter shows that teachers recognize the importance of the...

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