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Exploring Students’ Multimodal Mobile Use as Support for School Assignments

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Mobile Devices and Apps

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.733.1 - 26.733.14



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Paper Authors


Tiina Leino Lindell The School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

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Tiina Leino Lindell is Ph.D student at The School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, with specialization in mobile learning and multimodality. Her research focuses on how learning and communication occours in technology education, by using digital and multimodal resources. She also teaches students at high school level in a technology education.

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Stefan Hrastinski KTH Royal Institute of Technology

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Stefan Hrastinski is Associate Professor at the The School of Education and Communication in Engineering Science, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and Visiting Professor with specialization in e-Learning, Mid Sweden University. His research focuses on online learning and collaboration in educational and organizational settings. Stefan has conducted research and development projects across various contexts, including higher education, school settings, companies, municipalities and the public sector. He teaches courses in e-learning, and supervise theses on bachelor, master and Ph.D. level.

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Inga-Britt - Skogh

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Work-in-Progress: Exploring Possibilities to Use Mobile Devices and Multimodality in Order to Connect Study Visits and Technology EducationIt has become common for people to use their mobile devices for the exchange of experiencesin informal settings (van Dijck, 2011). Mobile devices provide both opportunities tocommunicate regardless of location, and possibility of multimodal representations.Multimodality implies that different modalities as sound, image and text is viewed as awhole, and make meaning with multiple articulations (Kress & Van Leeuwen, 2001). Manypeople utilize these capacities and use videos, photos and texts to share their experiences withother people (e.g. Brown & Laurier, 2013; Okabe, 2004). Simultaneously it is relativelyunusual that these opportunities provided by mobile devices for learning and communication,are effectively utilized in formal education, especially at K-12 levels (e.g. Kevin et al., 2014;Kukulska-Hulme, 2013). Although it has been argued that mobile devices and multimodalrepresentations have great potential to support formal learning, the research field ofmultimodal use in mobile learning, is quite unexplored (e.g. Ally, 2009; Anastopoulou,Sharples & Baber, 2011).This presentation introduces an ongoing research project highlighting students’ use of mobiledevices and multimodality in formal learning settings. The context of the study is Swedishtechnology education at secondary school level. The curriculum of the technology subjectemphasizes students’ ability to document their work with various forms of expression and useof digital resources. The aim is to let students and teachers establish and further developexperiences in technology education, made from study visits. It is thought that studentsshould be able to work between different learning environments, with support of mobiledevices and multimodal representations. In this project, we are in particular interested inexploring in which ways the use of mobile devices and multimodal representations supportlearning in technology education. Based on Vygotsky’s (1978) sociocultural theories andKress and Van Leeuwen’s multimodal perspectives (2001) the following research question isaddressed: What are the perceived benefits and limitations of using mobile devices andmultimodal representations in order to connect study visits and formal education? With thepurpose to create a learning situation in accordance with the overall curriculums and localrequirements, we have chosen educational design research as our methodological approach.This method allows both the teachers and students to contribute their experiences of how thelearning activity should be designed (e.g. McKenney & Reeves, 2014). Collected dataconsists of students’ digital documentation during study visit, video documentation of thelearning process, and interviews (students and teachers).The presentation at the conference will highlight initial results from the study. In relation tothe purpose and research question, it will show in which ways the resources have supportedthe student’s learning activity between different environments. The results indicate how thebenefits and defined limitations provide new opportunities for how mobile learning can bedeveloped further in the future.Keywords: Technology education, multimodality, mobile learning, educational designresearch, K-12.ReferencesAlly, M. (Ed.). (2009). Mobile learning: Transforming the delivery of education and training. Athabasca University Press.Anastopoulou, S., Sharples, M., & Baber, C. (2011). An evaluation of multimodal interactions with technology while learning science concepts. British Journal of Educational Technology, 42(2), 266-290.Goh, D. H. L., Ang, R. P., Chua, A. Y., & Lee, C. S. (2009). Why we share: A study of motivations for mobile media sharing. In Active media technology (pp. 195-206). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.Kress, G. R. & Van Leeuwen, T. (2001). Multimodal discourse: the modes and media of contemporary communication. London: Arnold.Kukulska-Hulme, A. (2013). Limelight on mobile learning: Integrating education and innovation. Harvard International Review, 34(4), 12.McKenney, S., & Reeves, T. C. (2014). Educational design research. In M. Spector, M. Merrill, J. Elen, & M. Bischop (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology (pp. 131-140). New York: Springer.Okabe, D. (2004). Emergent social practices, situations and relations through everyday camera phone use. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Mobile Communication and Social Change. Seoul, Korea.Thomas, K. M., O’Bannon, B. W., & Britt, V. G. (2014). Standing in the Schoolhouse Door: Teacher Perceptions of Mobile Phones in the Classroom. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 46(4), 373-395.Van Dijck, J. (2011). Flickr and the culture of connectivity: Sharing views, experiences, memories. Memory Studies, 4(4), 401-415.Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: the development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard U.P.

Lindell, T. L., & Hrastinski, S., & Skogh, I. (2015, June), Exploring Students’ Multimodal Mobile Use as Support for School Assignments Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24070

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