NAFOL profile: Fredrik Mørk Røkenes

Student teachers’ digital competence

Fredrik Mørk RøkenesMy doctoral project is about mapping student teachers’ digital competence. I am a recent graduate teacher with a Master’s in English from NTNU, and I have worked as an English teacher in Trondheim. Previously, I worked as an apprentice in ICT at an upper-secondary school in Narvik. My experiences from my teaching studies, my experiences from my study abroad, and my experiences from working with ICT and being a teacher have played an important part in shaping my doctoral project.

According to CERI OECD’s (2010) analysis of PISA 2006, a second digital divide has emerged among students. No longer are we just talking about a divide between those who have and have not access to technology. Now we the debate also concerns those who have and have not got skills and competence to use technology in a critical manner. We can call this form of competence digital competence. Having digital competence has become important knowledge in modern society where more and more services, information and functions are being digitalized.

The Norwegian National Curriculum for Knowledge Promotion (2006) accentuates the ability to use digital tools as one of the five basic skills across every school subject in primary- and secondary education. Hence, it has become a prerequisite that a modern teacher must be digitally competent. However, studies show that Norwegian teachers are not receiving proper teaching in digital competence or how to use digital tools from the teacher-training institutions. Instead, much of this knowledge is learned through trial and error. The mission of teacher-training institutions is to train modern teachers and healthy role-models for future pupils. Therefore, teacher-training institutions must ensure that student teachers acquire the necessary knowledge and skills demanded by today’s digital school and society.

In my doctoral project I wish to map student teachers’ digital competence and investigate how teacher-training institutions equip their student teachers with this knowledge. The primary focus will be on post-graduate student teachers with English and/or Social studies as teaching subjects as these disciplines represent a majority of this student population. In addition, English as a teaching subject is also closely related to my own teaching background.

I have just recently begun my doctorate, and I am in the process of editing and approving my research design. At the same time, I have begun my PhD training and my work duties. Through NAFOL I have been put in contact with other PhD students, and I have received a number of ideas for my own project. NAFOL has also been a helpful organization in regards to informing me of relevant conferences and seminars.

Abstract (doc file)