An Interview Study of German Teachers’ Views on the Implementation of Digital Media Education by Focusing on Internet Forums in the Science Classroom

Johanna Dittmar, Ingo Eilks
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Abstract


Internet forums are interactive, question-answer-based information resources in the Internet. Users can post questions and others can answer from any place in the world and at any time. Teachers can use Internet forums to find answers on how and what to teach, e.g. science; students find or ask for information for school topics or homework assignments. Digital forums can be even used to organize communication among students or of students with their teachers. The use of Internet forums quite often is initiated unconsciously when Internet search engines, like Google, lead the user to them. The Internet provides various types of forums, ranging from very general forums to domain-specific ones such as those focusing on science-related questions. In more general Internet forums, however, it is quite common that science-related content is discussed on the basis of everyday life questions. In order to educate learners in dealing with science-related content in forums and to contribute to digital media education, it has been suggested that schools integrate and reflect upon Internet forums in formal educational settings, e.g. in science education. The question, however, remains what the individual school subjects should contribute to the process. This survey seeks to map out to which degree science teachers in Germany are aware on Internet forums and whether they are open and prepared to integrate Internet forums into their teaching. An interview study with 16 selected science teachers indicates that teachers are largely open-minded about the use of Internet forums. The survey, however, also shows that Internet forums are used only by a few of the teachers from this sample in science class. Hindering factors mentioned included time constraints, missing concepts, and lack of infrastructure.

Keywords


Science education, ICT, Media education, Internet forums

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References


Dittmar, J. & Eilks, I. (2019). An interview study of German teachers’ views on the implementation of digital media education by focusing on Internet forums in the science classroom. International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology (IJEMST), 7(4), 367-381.


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