Tessy Cerratto Pargman
Tessy Cerratto Pargman

The Nordic countries are seen as pioneering into the area of ICT and education. Since the early nineties, the Nordic countries have invested in ICT, based on the belief that ICT can be regarded as a cultural tool, which can significantly improve the quality of education. So it is obvious that Nordic researchers share their knowledge. Tessy Cerratto Pargman and her two colleagues Sanna Järvela (Oulu University) and Marcelo Milrad (Linnéuniversitetet) have coordinated a special issue of the journal The Internet and Higher Education.

“The ideas developed in the current special issue that come from some of the conversations engaged at the first Nordic symposium on technology enhanced learning (NORDITEL). The symposium brought together 80 researchers who enthusiastically got involved in a series of interactive presentations and discussions during two days,” Tessy explains.

In the upcoming years Nordic TEL will be confronted with a number of research challenges, most of them will be related to the promotion of innovative teaching practices, the need of driving technological development and design of educational tools for education, and new forms of understanding cultures of learning.

The researchers conclude that there is a need to re-conceptualize traditional notions associated with “learner” as the use of technologies is, today, challenging what and how things can be known as well as what learning is and how learners become critical thinkers.

“We also think it is necessary to rethink the teacher in relation to his/her own teaching practices as today's use of ICT technologies is impacting teachers' work in unpredictable ways. And it is essential to reflect on how educational systems will adapt, re design and even develop their own tools, produced from pedagogical stances and not merely from commercial interests,” Tessy Cerratto Pargman underlines.

The contributions in this special issue present different and complementary perspectives and expertise that explore some of the issues and challenges here presented. This special issue consists of five contributions that respond to a number of research challenges in the field of Nordic TEL. A common characteristic of the papers selected is that they are concerned by the study, design and development of learning and teaching spaces and interactions supported by innovative technologies, for solo and collaborative learning in a variety of learning activities and contexts.