The use of digital technology for differentiation of teaching in early school years
This study is interested in teachers’ use of digital technology for differentiation of teaching in early school years, focusing in particular on teaching reading and writing. The study is qualitative in nature and is based on field studies in grade 2 (aged eight), along with focus groups involving teachers who work with and around pupils. Two research questions have served as a guideline for the study: 1. What characterises teachers’ experiences and didactic usage of digital technology when teaching children (to read and write), and 2. How is digital technology used to promote different dimensions of reading and writing processes? The results show that teachers use digital technology to differentiate teaching in various ways; by illustrating, motivating, individualising and making the didactic content accessible, for example. Digital technology is used when teaching children to read and write in order to promote both individual skills and activities promoting communication and creating meaning. Digital technology appears to provide opportunities for teachers to offer particular support within the classroom framework and offer pupils tasks at custom levels, thereby helping to provide a more inclusive didactic space. This study highlights teachers’ somewhat ambivalent approach and balancing of different didactic choices in relation to digital technology.
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Keywords:Differentiation, Digital technology, Case study, Primary school, Teaching reading and writing
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