Datorplattor i en förskolekontext : med fokus på teknikundervisning inklusive programmering

Sammanfattning: Society has undergone major and revolutionary changes in a relatively short time, where the individual is surrounded by and has become increasingly dependent on digital technology and programmed objects. The availability of digital tools such as digital tablets (e.g. iPads) has increased significantly in the Swedish preschool, even though research in this area is limited.It is therefore of utmost importance to examine how teachers use digital tablets to support children's learning, both in general but also in relation to technology education, where the latter also includes computer programming. This thesis intends to contribute to such an examination in the form of two studies.In study 1, an online survey was used that consisted of 26 questions that were sent across Sweden and in which 327 respondents participated. Questions were posed about how teachers work with digital tablets together with preschool children. Specifically, the following research questions were raised: What educational activities with digital tablets do teachers engage in Swedish preschools? What are teachers’ views of the educational benefits and disadvantages of using digital tablets in teaching? and, What are teachers’ recommendations for using digital tablets in their teaching practice?In study 2, another online survey was developed based on the findings from study 1 and contained 16 questions that resulted in 199 responses from across Sweden. In study 1, teacher responses around programming proved prominent, which study 2 aimed to explore more deeply. Therefore, the survey questions adopted in the second study probed how preschool teachers implemented programming activities during preschool teaching.Results from the two studies showed that despite a lack of competence, equipment and support from school leadership, numerous teachers often develop and use their own initiative to integrate digital tablet and programming activities in preschool. Teachers communicated several advantages of programming activities with respect to children's learning, aspects that were linked to the notions of 21st century skills and computational thinking. When it comes to methods for designing and implementing activities in practice, several connections to Papert's constructionism were seen as meaningful for the children, where activities contained a large degree of project based work with room for promoting children's agency. The results of the research clearly indicates that solid teacher-initiated work with digital tools as pedagogical resources is underway in earnest across Swedish preschools.In order to realize the advantages of teachers’ development of digital tablet activities for learning, teachers must be provided with prerequisite support necessary for an optimal integration of digitization tools into preschool education. In this regard, teachers should be offered competence development, as well as time for effective implementation, planning and follow-up. Access to appropriate digital tools is also a proviso for realizing this mandate. Increased collaboration between school managers and teachers would also further steer such initiatives in a positive pedagogical direction.

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