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About the symposium

The use of digital technology in European K-12 schools has increased over the last decade (Olofsson, Lindberg, Hauge & Fransson, 2015; Ekberg & Gao, 2018). Laptops, digital tablets, and smartphones are today commonly used technologies in school (cf. Håkansson-Lindqvist, 2015; Jahnke et al., 2017; Ott et al., 2018).

On an international (OECD 2001, 2015) as well as a Nordic (Sweden: Government Inquiry 2014:13, Norway: NOU 2015:8, Finland: The new national core curriculum for basic education, 2016, Denmark: Digitaliseringsstrategien 2011-2015) educational policy level this is seen as an asked for and welcomed development. It has been argued that this development is of great importance in order for children and students to be able to contribute and function in a highly digitalized society (compare Cöster & Westelius, 2016). According to Håkansson Lindqvist (2015) and Wastiau et al. (2013) educational policies often emphasize the potential of digital technology to reform or even transform (compare Egea, 2014; Hinings et al., 2018) teaching and learning in K-12 schools. However, research also reports that the ongoing uptake and use of digital technology in such contexts most likely hasn’t had the positive impact on teaching and learning that has been expected on a policy level (Almerich et al., 2016; Hammond, 2014, Vrasidas, 2015).

As can be understood from this brief introduction, there are several interesting, but yet challenging, questions in regard to teaching, teacher education and digital technology. Some are similar in several contexts and countries, others are not. Some are strongly connected to policy and practice while others more clearly concerns the research field in itself. It is our hope that we all together during the days in Umeå can address and discuss the current digitalized K-12 school and teacher education as well as new directions in regard to the role of digital technology in these educational settings.