Cross-Border Collaboration in History among Nordic Students: A Case Study about Creating Innovative ICT Didactic Models

Maria Spante, University West, Sweden
Asgjerd Vea Karlsen, Buskerud and Vestfold University College, Norway
Anne-Mette Nortvig, University of Aalborg & University College Zealand, Denmark
Rene B. Christiansen, University College Zealand, Denmark
Published: August 2014

Citation: Spante, M., Karlsen, A. V., Nortvig, A.-M., & Christiansen, R. B. (2014). Cross-Border Collaboration in History among Nordic Students: A Case Study about Creating Innovative ICT Didactic Models. IAFOR Journal of Education, 2(2).


Gränsöverskridande Nordisk Undervisning/Utdanelse (GNU, meaning Cross-Border Nordic Education), the larger Nordic project, under which this case study was carried out, aims at developing innovative, cross-border teaching models in different subject domains in elementary school, including mathematics, language, science, social studies and history. This paper provides an in-depth description and analysis of how four social science and history elementary school teachers and their 70 students (5th–7th grades) worked together between November 2011 and December 2012. Previous research regarding the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in history education in elementary schools is limited, thus calling for contemporary investigations in this particular subject domain. The Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) model, enhancing the combination of teachers’ pedagogical, content and technical competence, was used as the analytical framework, together with nation-specific curricula and the European Union’s recommendations regarding students’ skills for lifelong learning. A range of empirical materials was analyzed, such as classroom observations, students’ video productions, texts and photos distributed and shared on a mutual blog, real-time interaction and teachers’ communication. The teachers tried out two ICT didactic models. In the asynchronous model, the major focus was on the form and content of the video productions being shared, whereas work with the synchronous model concentrated on the content and quality of the communication. Notwithstanding obstacles, cross-border collaboration provided added value. The nation-specific differences triggered curiosity and motivation to produce digital presentations of history content to be understood by the students in the three nations, facilitating goal fulfillment in communication skills and digital competence. However, achieving subject-specific goals in history remained challenging.


e-learning, collaborative learning, cross-border, TPACK