Framing in educational practices: Learning activity, digital technology and the logic of situated action

Detta är en avhandling från University of Gothenburg

Sammanfattning: An overarching ambition of this thesis is to study the in situ practices that emerge when technology becomes part of educational activities and, in addition, to examine what students’ definition of such activities will be. By analysing students’ concrete uses of digital technology in regular classroom practices, the study intends to demystify how digital technology codetermines activities in educational settings. A background of this interest is that there are many different claims in the literature and in the public debate regarding what learning will be like when such tools are used. Accordingly, the use of digital technologies is in this thesis studied from the perspective of student activities and rationalities. Analytically, this is done within a sociocultural perspective and, in addition, with the help of the conceptual distinctions of frame analysis. Empirical material have been collected via video recordings of secondary school students’ engaging in solving word problems in mathematics presented by means of educational software. The analyses aim at scrutinizing what the presence of educational software in mathematics implies for the students’ learning practices in situations when they encounter some kind of difficulty in their problem solving. The results, presented in three studies, show that for long periods of time the students’ interaction involved not only the contents but also different functionalities and design qualities of the digital technology. The findings in this study thus point to the need to question the alleged benefits that surround the implementation of digital technologies. According to the empirical findings in the three studies presented in this thesis, along with knowledge from previous research, digital technology cannot be said to improve learning in any linear sense. Instead, educational activities involving the use of digital technologies imply a different way of learning with new possibilities and new problems; a different pedagogical situation and a different relation between the students and the contents.

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