DiCoTe: Increasing professional Digital Competence in ECTE with focus on enriching and supporting children’s play with coding toys

The DiCoTe project aims to increase digital competence in Norwegian kindergartens by developing resources that can be used in Early Childhood Education Training.

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DiCoTe is an abbreviation for Digital Competence in ECTE with focus on enriching and supporting children’s play with coding toys. Financing: DiCoTe received 12. million NOK from The Research Council of Norway (FINNUT) for 2021 - 2025. Project owner: University of Stavanger Project leader: Associate Professor Francesca Granone. Partners: NTNU, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Aalborg University, Queen Maud's University College, Norwegian Centre for Mathematics Education and Vitenfabrikken, as well as the municipalities Sandnes, Røros and Melhus. Contact: dicote@uis.no For scientific dissemination, see the project's pages at the Research Council of Norway.

The goal of DiCoTe, is to strengthen Norwegian kindergarten teachers' digital competence, which will affect the quality of kindergartens and children's learning of important skills such as logical thinking, cooperation, inclusion and emotional and social skills.

Associate Professor Francesca Granone , project leader

Former students in the Earcly Childhood Education Teacher program is testing digital toys intended for use in kindergarten.

DiCoTe stands for "Increasing professional Digital Competence in ECTE with focus on enriching and supporting children's play with coding toys." The project is conducted by kindergarten researchers from FILIORUM and the Department of Early Childhood Education, and will contribute to building research expertise that meets important societal challenges.

The resources developed in the project will help to enrich and support children's play with technology in kindergarten. The focus will be on play with coding toys that children aged 3-5 years, in cooperation, can program by giving logical messages to a robot via direct interaction with the toy, without the use of a screen.

The resources will be developed in a partnership between Early Childhood Education Teacher Training educators, students in the Early Childhood Education Teacher program, kindergarten teachers, kindergarten owners and researchers. A wide range of methods will be used, such as surveys, focus group interviews, discourse analysis, systematic reviews and observations.

Why work with technology in the kindergarten?

There is an urgent need to raise professional digital competence in Early Childhood Education Teacher Training. Technology is an important part of children's learning and play today, and digital practice is highlighted as an important focus area in the Framework Plan for Kindergartens. It's also been high on the government's agenda for the last decade. Despite these efforts, it has been reported that staff in Norwegian kindergartens lack the necessary skills to facilitate the use of digital tools that support children's play and learning.


Collaboration across institutions

Nine kindergartens and twelve kindergarten teachers from three municipalities take part in the partnership with the research team. Initially, the resources will be piloted in the Early Childhood Education Teacher Training programs at the University of Stavanger and Queen Maud's University College in Trondheim, with the aim of establishing a national standard to increase Norwegian kindergarten teachers' professional digital competence

Later, the resources will be available to all kindergarten teacher training institutions in Norway through a secure server. The Norwegian Centre for Mathematics Education and Vitenfabrikken will also contribute to communicating the project's results to a wider and non-specialist audience.


Research questions and work packages

The main research question in DiCoTe is how the professional digital competence of students in the Early Childhood Education Teacher program can be increased, by training them to enrich and support children's play and learning with coding toys in the kindergarten.

In work package 1, the research group will examine the status of Norwegian kindergarten teachers' professional digital competence in regard to coding play, and what the research literature says about this.

Work package 2 will explore which research-based resources are needed to prepare students in the Early Childhood Education Teacher program so that they can support and enrich children's play with coding toys, with an emphasis on cooperation in the child group, problem solving, mathematics and communication skills.

A third work package will investigate how research-based resources for the kindergarten can be developed and implemented to become part of the mandatory education for students in the Early Childhood Education Teacher program.

Partners

DiCoTe is a collaboration between research environments at University of Stavanger, NTNU, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Aalborg University, Queen Maud's University College, Norwegian Centre for Mathematics Education and Vitenfabrikken, as well as the municipalities of Sandnes, Røros and Melhus.

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Førsteamanuensis
51833446
Faculty of Arts and Education
Department of Early Childhood Education
Professor
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Faculty of Arts and Education
Department of Early Childhood Education
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Faculty of Arts and Education
Department of Early Childhood Education
Førsteamanuensis
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Faculty of Arts and Education
Department of Early Childhood Education
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Læringsmiljøsenteret, avd. Stavanger
Faculty of Arts and Education
Norwegian Centre for Learning Environment and Behavioral Research in Education
Professor
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Faculty of Science and Technology
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Professor
51833209
Faculty of Arts and Education
National Centre for Reading Education and Research
Universitetslektor
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Faculty of Arts and Education
Department of Education and Sports Science
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Faculty of Arts and Education
Department of Early Childhood Education
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Faculty of Arts and Education
Department of Early Childhood Education
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Faculty of Arts and Education
Department of Early Childhood Education