Building Sustainable Digital Practices in Kindergarten Literacy and Arts Programmes (DigiSus)

DigiSus is a bottom up competence project involving kindergartens in two municipalities, pre-service kindergarten teacher programmes and a research environment. The main objective of the project is to develop and establish a competence framework for kindergarten staff and teacher educators connected to evaluation and implementation of sustainable digital practices (SDPs) in kindergartens supporting playing and learning in literacy and arts practices.

Newer research findings suggest that small children’s use of mobile screen technologies may prevent the development of crucial pre-academic abilities such as self-regulation, empathy, social competence and problem solutions (Radesky, Schumacher & Zuckerman 2014). This critique suggest to us that the introduction of digital practices need to be less screen based and more balanced in order to deserve to persist and become sustainable in kindergarten environments for play and learning. The DigiSus project will introduce and explore a balanced environment for play and learning in kindergartens where non-screen based technology will be used along with existing screen based technologies in moveable experience labs, e.g in the shape of aesthetic interaction rooms (1- 3 years), and language exploration rooms (3-5 years). The interaction rooms will be designed in collaboration between kindergarten teachers and researchers and implemented in kindergartens.

The overall research design of the project is inspired by action and educational design research and is structured around four key research phases:

  • Engage and analyze
  • Design and enact
  • Evaluate and validate
  • Spread and implement.

Research processes and phases will all lead up to knowledge as competence agency connected to actional thinking and research based decisions.

Funding:  Norwegian Research council (NFR)

Research partner: The municipality of Tysnes and The municipality of Stord

Project owner:  CASE center, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)




Global Science Opera to be presented to House of Commons Members of Parliament (MP’s) in June

The UK Global Science Opera school Premier Academy is shortlisted for International Award in the prestigious TES Schools Awards 2017, sponsored by the British Council, for the school’s work with GSO. In June, music educator Jonathan Harris will travel to the House of Commons in London to discuss GSO with several MPs and attend the awards ceremony.

Work on ”field portrait” of schools started in DiSko

In the project “School and concert – from transmission to dialogue”, fieldwork has started. This first half year is dedicated to analysis and exploration of four different school contexts, and a “field portrait” of each school will be constructed on basis of interviews, observation, conversations, focus groups, document/curriculum analysis and literature reviews. The researchers are aiming at picturing the school as an environment for site-specific partnership collaborations in music. What are the schools’ needs when visiting musicians enter school, which strengths weaknesses, opportunities and threats towards ownership and site-specificity is there in the different schools?

Master students contribute to further development of prize-winning Masters Degree course

Master students and researchers from within the fields of marine biology, astrophysics, and creative and esthetic learning processes from Univ. of California Berkeley, Concordia University, University of Bergen and Western Norway University of Applied Sciences met in Berkeley for a week-long seminar held by the Norwegian Research Council’s project, iSCOPE. The iSCOPE project is designed as a bridge between successful science education methodologies, including ones which are supported by arts education, and the goals which UiB (BIO) aims to reach. Excellence in biology education will be evaluated and enhanced with world-class excellence from physics.

The goals were a) to experiment and develop didactic elements based in the arts and science, so as to further develop the course Biological Data Analysis and Research Design (BIO300) at the University of Bergen, and b) to negotiate the challenges within inter-disciplinary work of this kind as the project begins authoring a series of three publications.

The program was varied and eclectic. An Eco-Scenography at the MITAcademy school (whose Astronomy club is creating a scene for this year’s Global Science Opera) led by Master students from Stord, a a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute  and  Monterey Bay Aquarium, and a Science Communication workshop led by Concordia University Master student introduced the participants  to new perspectives.  An inspirational session with Heavy Metal band Cardinal Wyrm about music as a mechanism in science dissemination, and presentations of research about the Global Science Opera by colleagues from Stord, Norway and Montreal, Canada, were also on the program, as well as much more.


Linking science investigation and world peace

Jonathan Harris, is Head of Academy Music at the Premier Academy (Milton Keynes, UK), and the UK “alpha-contact” for the Global Science Opera. He is now working on a new version of his song “Bring Peace” for this year’s Global Science Opera, “Moon Village”. Originally written for the 2015 GSO Production, “SkyLight“, he now hopes that many children and students taking part in this year’s GSO can learn and record the song together. The song lyrics link science investigation and world peace.



Professional storytellers creates scene in Moon Village

The Italian Story-Telling Center in Portico di Romagna will collaborate with the Global Science Opera (GSO) in 2017 during the “Moon Village” opera production. During the year, the Italian team,  here represented by  Giovanna Conforto (photo),  will create a scene within the opera, together with Italian pupils.

Moon Village – a Global Science Opera

Preparations have begun for the Global Science Opera’s production in 2017, “Moon Village”! The science opera will be performed around the world and streamed online: A year-long creative inquiry shared by schools, universities and art institutions in 25 countries. It will communicate the process, science and technology of the European Space Agency’s Moon Village. In March, members and students of the EU Erasmus+ “SPACE” project will gather at the European Space Agency’s Technology Center (ESTEC) in Holland to receive inspiration, and to plan the performance of the Dutch GSO team at ESTEC during the opera premier in December. “Moon Village” will be a cooperation with a network of institutions and these projects:

  • Flagship Initiative of the European Commission’s Horizons 2020 Project CREATIONS.
  • The European Commission’s Erasmus+ project SPACE.
  • The Norwegian Research Council’s project iSCOPE.


Ghost Particles – a Global Science Opera (official trailer)

Global Science Opera is the first ever opera initiative to be created, produced and performed as a global community.
Ghost Particles will premiere worldwide on November 19th 2016. This new production tells the story of the amazing zoo of particles starring Higgs Boson, Neutrinos and Photons. It will be streamed online by TV-Haugaland and will include a virtual live visit to the CMS experiment at CERN, the largest multinational particle physics lab in the world. The opera’s scientific concept was provided by Dr. Sofoklis Sotiriou (EA, Greece).
The Global Science Opera is co-organized at Stord Haugesund University College in Norway, in collaboration with a global network including RESEO, art@CMS, Global Hands on Universe and Galileo Teacher Training Program.
The opera is a flagship initiative of the European Commission’s Horizons 2020 Project CREATIONS, which develops creative approaches based on art for engaging science classrooms. It furthermore provides a research focus for the Norwegian Research Council’s project “iSCOPE“.
The opera may be viewed online here on Nov. 19th, 2016 at 1:30 PM GMT:
Find out more at

School and concert – from transmission to dialogue

DiSko is an innovation project intending to innovate school concert practices produced  and implemented nationally by Arts for Young Audiences Norway (AYAN) and regional partners in Norway. The project will innovate an established practice through research based innovation procedures in order to respond to challenges connected to school ownership and school integration. This research-based innovation work will be carried out over four years with a selection of schools and groups of musicians and producers from NCA within a budget of 7.4 mill NOK. The DiSko project will develop and try out alternative concert forms, which to a greater degree can be experienced and shared by pupils, teachers as well as musicians. Our research questions are:

  • How can dialogue based concert practices be produced in order to be integrated as meaningful and professional elements in school´s everyday life?
  • How can schools facilitate such integration in their work with teaching, learning and Bildung?

DiSko´s point of departure is that shared ownership emerges through equity-based relations, and our practical innovation processes will be grounded in this belief.  From the practical iterations of concert productions, researchers will develop analysis and research reports, and parallel to the concert production activities, a continuous implementation and discussion will take place. An interactive website will be a central component in the communication between researchers, musicians, teachers and users, other interested persons and organizations.

Funding: the Norwegian Research council (NFR)

Project owner: The Norwegian Concert Agency (NCA)

Research partner: CASE center, at Stord/Haugesund University College

Innovation-based student enterprise to enhance innovation in teacher education

The EU project “SPACE” is a Strategic Partnership which recently had its kick-off meeting at the Dundalk Institute of Technology (Ireland). Plans were made for the realization of an ambitious 3-year plan to form an innovation-based student enterprise which will enhance innovation in teacher education. This will be achieved by introducing pre-service teachers to the Write a Science Opera (WASO) method of inter-disciplinary teaching and other approaches to STEAM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Arts/Math). The scientific focus of the SPACE project will be the European Space Agency’s research and technology as humanity moves forward towards a permanent base on the Moon. The next step will be to gather together in Lier, Belgium in November for a week-long Intensive Program (IP) about various STEAM approaches with teachers and students from 5 countries (Norway, Portugal, Belgium, Holland and Ireland). Stord/Haugesund University College will be represented by 5 music education students, Assistant Professors Jonas S. Olsen and Frode Hammersland, and Associate Professor Oded Ben-Horin. Following this, in the Spring of 2017, the partners will convene at the European Space Agency’s Technology Center (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, Holland to meet with ESA officials and plan the project’s implementation with pre-service teachers in the various countries and the authoring of a WASO book. The first preliminary implementation has already started at Kinsarvik School (Norway) in collaboration with Bergen National Opera. At Kinsarvik, pupils in the 5th, 6th, and 7th grades are creating a science opera inspired by Black Holes which they will perform at the opening of the Hardanger Music Festival on May 31st, 2017.

Project coordinator: AP College (Belgium)