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Appears in:
Pages: 6798-6807
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain

USING TABLETOPS TO REDUCE INTERGROUP CONFLICT IN A SCHOOL CONTEXT

A. Ioannou, C. Antoniou, A. Kafkaridou

Cyprus University of Technology (CYPRUS)
Mobile and social media technologies have already made their way in peacebuilding and peacemaking initiatives as means for promoting interactive dialogue among distributed users. Less attention has been paid to the use of multitouch, interactive technology, such as tabletops, to support peacemaking in collocated settings. This study took place in a conflict-stressed school environment where increased incidents of violence and delinquency exist. We aimed to examine how the use of tabletops can promote peaceful attitudes and mitigate conflict.

The participants were 20 students (grades 3-6) at a public elementary school in the eastern Mediterranean. The school is characterized by large numbers of foreign students (i.e., minority enrollment), high drop-out rate and increased incidences of conflict (verbal and physical), violence and delinquency. Five groups of four students were formed to participate in the study. There was conflict in every group (e.g., physical and verbal conflict and bullying). We used SUR40 with four freely-available applications from the Apps Store and two custom-built applications (authors’ reference). We visited the school twice a week for three weeks (6 times). Each group worked on the tabletop for 30 minutes per session, for a total of 3 hours tabletop interaction per group for the duration of the study. Data sources included pre/post interviews with the participating students and video data.

The pre and post interview data were analyzed following Attride-Stirling’s (2001) thematic networks approach. Video data were used for triangulation of findings.

Two investigators examined the results of the pre-interview data aiming to understand the nature of conflict at school, and more particularly, the kinds of conflicts within the participating groups. Two organizing themes of conflict emerged from this analysis -- conflict during recess and conflict in the classroom – broken down to several basic themes. The investigators examined the results of the post-interview data aiming to uncover potential changes in the nature of conflict, improvements in students’ relationships, and persistent or non-persistent behaviors. It was strongly evident in students’ responses that conflict in and outside the classroom, including pushing, hitting, not sharing, not playing etc. were reduced significantly and students’ relationships improved overall. Students thought that the positive behaviors were demonstrated during their tabletop collaboration and extended outside the intervention, during lessons and recess.Additionally, the investigators aimed to map students’ perceived value of the experience working in their group around the tabletop which provided evidence of the positive effects of the intervention (themes/networks to be discussed in the paper).

Overall, findings from this work extent the notion that tabletops can provide a revolutionary approach to communication and peacemaking. Tabletops not only enable the development of a shared space and physical communication between group members but also, allows power to be shared and distributed over the display enabling participation by all collaborators (e.g., Fleck et al., 2009) and ‘forcing’ the participants to take into account the interests of the ‘other' (authors’ ref). Therefore, potential integration of tabletops in relevant school subjects, or infusion in the everyday school curricula, may be able to help change perceptions and relationships among students in conflict.
@InProceedings{IOANNOU2015USI,
author = {Ioannou, A. and Antoniou, C. and Kafkaridou, A.},
title = {USING TABLETOPS TO REDUCE INTERGROUP CONFLICT IN A SCHOOL CONTEXT},
series = {9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-5763-7},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {6798-6807}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Ioannou AU - C. Antoniou AU - A. Kafkaridou
TI - USING TABLETOPS TO REDUCE INTERGROUP CONFLICT IN A SCHOOL CONTEXT
SN - 978-84-606-5763-7/2340-1079
PY - 2015
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2015
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2015 Proceedings
SP - 6798
EP - 6807
ER -
A. Ioannou, C. Antoniou, A. Kafkaridou (2015) USING TABLETOPS TO REDUCE INTERGROUP CONFLICT IN A SCHOOL CONTEXT, INTED2015 Proceedings, pp. 6798-6807.
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