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Connected learning in international learning projects: Emergence of a hybrid learning system

Saara Nissinen (Philosophical Faculty, School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland)
Henriikka Vartiainen (Philosophical Faculty, School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland)
Petteri Vanninen (Natural Resources Research Institute Finland, Savonlinna, Finland)
Sinikka Pöllänen (Philosophical Faculty, School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education, University of Eastern Finland, Joensuu, Finland)

International Journal of Information and Learning Technology

ISSN: 2056-4880

Article publication date: 3 April 2019

Issue publication date: 17 September 2019

305

Abstract

Purpose

The digital age has provided new possibilities for the connected learning. To better understand these opportunities in the school context, the purpose of this paper is to examine what kinds of learning communities emerge in international learning projects and how tools and technologies support students’ inquiries and peer connections.

Design/methodology/approach

The participants in this study were one Finnish 6th-grade class (n=17) and one American 7th–8th-grade class (n=16) who communicated through blogs and Skype. The main sources of deductive content analysis are transcribed Skype meetings, the students’ digital artifacts and a supplementary e-questionnaire.

Findings

The results of the study indicated that during the academic learning project, a voluntary, friendship-driven peer community emerged. The interaction in the formal contexts focused on sharing the results of local inquiries through Skype and blogs, whereas the friendship-driven community centered on the creation of social bonds through students’ personal devices and social media applications.

Originality/value

The paper models a hybrid learning system that connected academically oriented and friendship-driven participation.

Keywords

Citation

Nissinen, S., Vartiainen, H., Vanninen, P. and Pöllänen, S. (2019), "Connected learning in international learning projects: Emergence of a hybrid learning system", International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, Vol. 36 No. 5, pp. 381-394. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJILT-05-2018-0055

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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