ORCHESTRATING MEANING – PUPILS’ USE OF DIFFERENT MODES IN AN ADVANCED DIGITAL PRIMARY SCHOOL CONTEXT
University of Gothenburg (SWEDEN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Today the number of computers has generally increased in Swedish schools. More than half of the Swedish municipalities have invested in digital technology projects and teachers are more and more using computers and other digital technologies in daily teaching even in primary schools. Digital technologies open up for a multiplicity of modes and affordances, which impact on education in the contemporary classroom. New forms of representation and communication are made potentially available and make other forms of communication visible.
They also opens up for a broader view of literacy as multimodal design, taking into account that language in a globalised society is more than reading and writing skills. Multimodal perspectives on literacy have the basic assumption that meanings are made through many representational and communicational resources, which language is one (Kress & van Leeuwen, 2001). From a multimodal perspective, image, sound, text, speech, gestures are referred to as modes, which are organized sets of semiotic resources for meaning making (Jewitt, 2008; Kress 2006).
This paper will aim to contribute and enrich the understanding of teaching and learning in a multimodal environment by presenting research findings from an advanced digital classroom context where computers and multimodal software are integrated tools for learning in the classroom activities.
The instance analyzed here is from a socio- cultural approach of learning where the focus is on the interactive, institutional and the context features of the practice. The analysis of the empirical data take a stand from a social semiotic multimodal approach with focus on the process and how pupils orchestrate meaning through their selection and configuration of different modes in a primary school context.
The findings show significant features of how pupils collaborate and explore communication and representations in a multimodal landscape. The results points out examples of how different modes such as; images, texts, sound, speech and special effects are used in order to fulfil a digital multimodal classroom task. In what way pupils make meaning of these multimodal affordances, which comes along with emerging technologies in education, are further on discussed in the light of learning and curriculum knowledge.
Keywords: Digital technology, classroom context, multimodality, sociocultural theory.