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DiDiAC - Digitalised Dialogues Across the Curriculum

Developing and enhancing classroom dialogue by using Talkwall to ‘Think Together’

About the project

Today's students bring a wealth of experience with digital tools to the classroom and learn in increasingly digitised schools. Yet teachers can lack a pedagogy that takes into account the digital competence of students and, therefore, may not best exploit opportunities to develop the 21st-century skills students will need in the modern world.

Research demonstrates how students who are taught dialogic skills can show enhanced critical thinking and collaborative problem solving. There is also robust evidence demonstrating that the quality of classroom talk has a measurable impact on standards of attainment and can act as a predictor of students’ learning.

Objectives

The DiDiAC project commenced in April 2016 to develop new knowledge to help understand how students learn in contemporary digitalised schools and across three key knowledge domains – language, social science and natural science.

The project will integrate the use of Talkwall and elements of the ‘Thinking Together’ approach to investigate:

  • The potential of digital technology to enhance existing (and promote new) forms of classroom dialogue, provide a visualization of ‘interthinking’ and prompt/direct participation in collaborative activities.
  • The skills that need to be attained in order for students to master digitalised communicative contexts, and how teachers can support this mastery through their pedagogy.
  • How 21st-century competences (e.g. critical thinking and collaboration) are developed through the use of such digital technology.

Outcomes

Building a research base in the field of technology- supported pedagogy is of strategic importance in both Norway and the UK. DiDiAC will make a major contribution to the still very limited knowledge in the field of dialogue and technology interaction. It is anticipated that the research schools will become ‘ambassadors’ for digitally-enhanced dialogic learning.

Research-based knowledge developed through the project will have implications for professional development. In addition, the research will inform the further enhancement of Talkwall and associated pedagogy and support materials.

DiDiAC responds to key challenges facing educators and students in today’s schools by developing a new theory of how learning occurs in contemporary contexts. The project will also offer insights into how teachers may best prepare students to harness 21st-century technologies and build 21st-century skills.

Background

Developed by the University of Oslo, Talkwall is a microblogging tool for engaging students in collective classroom interaction, providing a digital link to the high quality discussion that aids learning. Using Talkwall, a teacher formulates a question or a challenge before students, individually or in groups, post messages to a shared ‘wall’ (e.g. large screen/projector). These messages can be interactively arranged, supporting the immediate visualisation of ideas. Hashtags and a short message format (max 140 characters) help to promote various important learning strategies, such as condensing information and identifying key concepts.

The time frame for DiDiAC is April 1st 2016 to April 1st 2020.

Sub-projects

  • There will be two sub-projects, one for a PostDoc and one for a PhD.
  • There will be research and development connected to the NDLA portal and its network of schools and teachers.

Financing

This research is funded by The Research Council of Norway (FINNUT/Project No: 254761).

Cooperation

DiDiAC builds on a long-standing collaboration between research groups at the Department of Education, University of Oslo and the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge.

 

Published May 4, 2016 12:57 PM - Last modified Sep. 6, 2017 12:10 PM