Raise your hands or hands-on? The meaning and implications of interactive technologies and devices for teaching and learning processes in classrooms.

Lien Mostmans, Stijn Bannier, Chris Vleugels

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)

Abstract

Young people are often referred to as digital natives, for whom digital technologies such as computers, the
Internet and mobile phones are natural, self-evident and ever-present (Livingstone, 2002; Livingstone and Bober, 2005; Bauwens, Pauwels et al., 2009, De Haan, 2002). They are considered to be skilled in multitasking (Boschma and Groen, 2006), probing and telescoping (Smits and De Bruyckere, 2009), and oriented towards digital technologies for accessing information and interacting with peers. As a result scholars have called for substantial educational reforms responding to the ICT skills and practices of these generations. Accordingly, besides the traditional lecture teaching style, issues arise as to apply a more hands-on, learner-centered approach, which includes ICT environments and applications. Notions of digital natives have, however, been challenged and have become the focus of recent debates, consequently also questioning the need for educational modifications (Bennett, Maton & Kervin, 2008). Building on the outcome of two research projects, i.e. BOM-VL (Archiving and Distribution of Multimedia in Flanders) and MuTable (the Multi-Touch Multimedia Table), the paper aims to contribute to the prevailing debates by elaborating on the North Belgian context, in which we have found that the appropriation of ICT and new media by young adults contrasts with the manner in which new media are employed in classrooms. Although it is beyond the purpose of this paper to call for, or refute claims to educational reforms, it discusses the MuTable as a tool that can be considered more tailored to widespread ICT practices among young adults. The MuTable is a touch-sensitive device that can act as a platform for collaboration, communication and presentation between teachers and learners and between learners themselves. Based on the outcome of expert interviews (BOM-VL) and focus group conversations and public test cases (MuTable) we want to reflect on the following questions: How does the adoption of touch interfaces influence teaching and learning processes in classrooms and what are the implications for teaching models (traditional versus more interactive models)? Results in BOM-VL show that it is not evident for teachers to apply and use multimedia in a classroom environment in the way students are used to. The MuTable project has shown that, given its visuality, the interface as a portal integrates the retrieval, analysis and presentation of information in a creative and interactive manner. Thereby it responds to learners' common practices to interact with digital materials and with each other. This paper concludes by arguing that the MuTable is, above all, suitable for younger age groups in order to reach final attainment levels and for creative programs, such as secondary art education programs and design programs in higher education. Besides elaborating on these opportunities of multi-touch displays in educational contexts, we discuss the implications for models of ownership of learning processes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIAMCR Conference 2010, 18-24 July, Braga, Portugal
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2010
EventFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 21 Sep 200925 Sep 2009

Conference

ConferenceFinds and Results from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition: A Gender Perspective at the Medelhavsmuseet
CountrySweden
CityStockholm
Period21/09/0925/09/09

Keywords

  • media literacy
  • education research
  • young people and ICT

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