The aim of this study is to explore equality and inclusion as an aspect of remote teaching in rural areas. Moreover, the aim is to explore teachers' pedagogical digital competence (PDC) and school organizational support as conditions for developing remote teaching.Design/methodology/approachA mixed method approach with both qualitative and quantitative data was used.FindingsAccording to this study, remote teaching can solve many problems for school organizations and offer pupils new opportunities to learn in rural areas. Remote teaching expands the learning environment and provides pupils with equal access to qualified teachers and a wider range of learning solutions for different needs. However, the learning context needs to be redesigned with flexibility to meet the needs of individual pupils, whereas the remote teaching format itself can contribute to difficulties in teachers' flexibility. In meeting these challenges teachers' PDC and digital relational competencies are becoming increasingly important. Moreover, teachers' access to communities and school contexts where remote teaching is collaboratively discussed and elaborated on.Research limitations/implicationsThe study is limited to a region in Sweden, with ten participants.Practical implicationsThe practical implications are that equal and inclusive remote teaching is dependent on technological as well as pedagogical competence from teachers as well as from organizations.Social implicationsIf sufficient professional development for teachers is provided as well as organizational structure are in place, remote teaching is an option for equal access to education in sparsely populated areas. This means inclusive education can be provided to areas otherwise lacking in teacher competence.Originality/valueThe study is one of few that investigates how remote teaching teachers perceive the teaching form and the competencies and support required to develop and use it in rural areas.
The International Journal of Information and Learning Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 14, 2020
Keywords: Inclusion; Mixed methods; Digital relational competence; Pedagogical digital competence; Remote teaching