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Applied Research in Digital Practices in Education

Research group The research group's (U-GARD) work takes its starting point in the group members’ joint research interests in digital practices existing both outside and within formal educational contexts and with a clear relation to the K-12 school, higher education in general and teacher education in particular.

Digitally mediated human activities and social interactions outside formal educational contexts have a strong influence on how such activities and interactions are shaped and take place therein – and vice versa.

U-GARD's theoretical and empirical research concerns young children up to adults. Moreover, research- and development work addresses various questions concerning the role of digital technology per se as well as processes mediated by digital technology in educational practices.

U-GARD's activities draw on in three different, yet interrelated, areas of research :

  1. Identity, social values and digital technology
  2. Teaching and learning with digital technology
  3. Emergent technologies and teaching practices.

These areas intersect applied research in digital practices and diverge by their individual research focus. This is an advantage, since each area contains research questions that are possible to apply in several different empirical settings which means that knowledge contributions within one area can be used to inform research within other areas.

Examples of research questions:

  • What are the critical issues and implications associated with identity, social values and emerging digital technologies, outside and within educational contexts and how do they intersect in these contexts?
  • How does the increased presence of digital technologies in the classroom contribute to re-structuring and change how teaching and learning activities are prepared for, designed, carried out and evaluated?
  • To what extent, and in what ways, can Virtual Reality contribute to supporting educational practices, teaching and learning activities as well as to increasing students' experience and understanding of abstract phenomenon, structures including their experiences of virtual places or environments?

Head of research


Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Centre for Digital Social Research, Department of Applied Educational Science Research

Research area

Educational sciences, Pedagogy