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Vinnova money to help develop young people's digital competence

A new creative development environment, a so-called maker-space, is to be created at Halmstad University. To assist in the start-up phase, Vinnova has granted 250,000 SEK to the project ”Digital Competence for Innovation and Societal Development”.

The maker culture has experienced a major upswing in the past few years. It has its roots in classic handicraft and inventor traditions; however, it now uses modern technology. Today, there are so-called maker spaces all over the world – places where young and old come together to both invent and manufacture.

Broaden the understanding of technology

– One purpose of the new project is to increase the collaboration between the makers and the community, so that more young people will create an interest for the opportunities and possibilities technology can give, as well as broadening the understanding of its creativeness and adaptability, says Pernilla Nilsson, project leader and Professor of Science Education at the School of Education, Humanities and Social Science.

A further aim is that the project will contribute to the development of children’s and youngsters’ ”digital literacy” to enable them to function in the technology-driven society we live in today.

– The project is within the framework of the research field Future learning, and is in collaboration with researchers at Aalborg University in Denmark. In this project we also collaborate with researchers at the School of Information Technology, says Pernilla Nilsson.

Supporting youngsters’ digital intelligence

Halmstad University has world-leading research within teaching and learning as well as a well-developed collaboration with the municipality of Halmstad. Furthermore, there is national and international leading research in Informatics and Computer Science, where a 'Living Lab’ culture has been developed and where participatory design takes place in several research projects.

– This creates good opportunities to support the development of children’s and youngsters’ digital competence, says Pernilla Nilsson.

The project has been developed in collaboration between researchers at Halmstad University and researchers at Aalborg University. An important part of the collaboration is to share experiences and learn from the good examples that have been developed at Aalborg University.

– Birgitte Holm Sörensen, a Professor at Aalborg University, is associated with the research field Future learning and has important experience within the field. In Denmark, for example, there are digital demonstration schools, the so-called FabLab concept, as well as the new school subject of craftsmanship and design that has replaced the previous traditional handicraft subjects. There is much inspiration that we can use, says Pernilla Nilsson.

New development areas

In the project, a development environment will be created where teachers and school classes work together with students and researchers. Activities can be, for example, teachers and students working together on complex issues and problems that have no clear, single answer. It can, for example, be about designing a piece of furniture, a classroom, or developing a user interface for an app that explains, in different ways, social and scientific concepts or mathematical problems. Furthermore, it can also be about providing development environments and test platforms for teachers on how, and in what way, creative ICT can be used in education.

The final report regarding the project is to be implemented in January 2017.


Updated 2015-10-21