My research is situated at the overlap of communication technology, education and development studies.
My research in technology-enhanced education is inspired and driven by forward-looking writings in experiential education, constructionism, and critical pedagogy. I am interested in how educational systems can be reformed for better serving the human being and the social being rather than the productive individual, citizen of an industrialised society. I am therefore interested to explore how learning about and how can be complemented by learning to be and learning to be together, and how knowledge of the outer can be completed by knowledge of the inner. It is only once we have established this frame that we can speak of what technology can do, and the investigation around the role of technology can be captured in four questions:
- Interaction with technology: What novel patterns of interaction are emerging or can be enabled by specific technologies? At this level, I am particularly interested in group interaction that can be enabled by technology.
- Creative activities: What kind of creative activities are emerging from these interactions or can be designed around these?
- Educational benefits and impacts: What kind of learning benefits emerge and what are the pitfalls?
- Integration: How can innovation be integrated in the educational curriculum small-scale (new activities in old models) and large-scale (new models)?
I am particularly interested in the role of creative engagement with digital media for bringing a variety of educational benefits, from deeper learning to creativity, acquisition of communication and socialisation skills, cooperativeness and capacity for team-work. A noteworthy example is digital storytelling – a set of activities, tools and methods for enabling students and teachers to create digital stories relevant for a specific subject matter. In my past research, I have looked at how digital storytelling activities can help students learn better, and do so in a fun and engaging way.
My research in Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) focuses on the case of marginalised, poor and isolated groups and in particular minority cultures. In the past, I have looked at how ICTs can be used to give minorities a voice for themselves – and this includes the power over self-representation, power to make themselves and their needs heard, and ability to stand up for what they want and need in the social and political sphere. My present research interests in ICT4D mingle with those in education: I am interested in how the development goals of marginalised groups can be met by inclusive education models, lifelong learning, and the part that technology can play within.