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"That's how much I can do!": Children's agency in digital tablet activities in a Swedish preschool environment
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education.
2015 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, ISSN 1891-943X, E-ISSN 1891-943X, Vol. 10, no 03, 145-169 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study explores children’s agency in respect to the relations constituted between the participants’ interaction and the design affordances of digital tablets.The findings underscore the importance of taking into account how the participants’ interaction interplays with the affordances of the touch screen, the portability of the tablet, and the use of pictorial modes within applications, that in turn contributed to children’s agency within the digital tablet activities. The findings highlight both children’s agentive use of multimodally organized resources and how an understanding of children’s agency may be expanded, through the use of multimodal approaches including the Design for Learning framework.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 2015. Vol. 10, no 03, 145-169 p.
Keyword [en]
Preschool, ICT, digital tablets, agency
National Category
Pedagogy Didactics
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-265053OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-265053DiVA: diva2:865160
Available from: 2015-10-27 Created: 2015-10-21 Last updated: 2015-11-04
In thesis
1. Appar och agency: Barns interaktion med pekplattor i förskolan
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Appar och agency: Barns interaktion med pekplattor i förskolan
2015 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This study explores young children's use of digital tablets in Swedish preschool environments, with special interest in how the use of digital tablets may affect children's agency. A multimodal, design theoretical approach was used, combined with sociology of childhood, to highlight the dynamics between children's agency and the affordances provided by the digital tablets. Two video ethnographic substudies were conducted within two separate preschool settings, including preschools where children use digital tablets to communicate in a minority language. In order to take into account as many modes of communication as possible, video recordings of children's use of the digital tablets was set side-by-side with screen recordings of the digital tablets. Major findings include how children's agency in digital tablet activities is intertwined with the different affordances, as emerging in the children's interaction with one another and the digital tablet. It was found that when affordances were built on visual, auditive and corporeal modes of communication, children's agency was enabled. Such affordances are in this study argued to be more, for the children, apt modes of communication for children to exert agency. Furthermore, it is argued that when children are given the possibility to communicate in their minority language, using for example Skype, this is a form of children's agency. The didactical implications and the societal potentials for children's use of digital tablets in preschools are discussed in relation to the creative skills individuals may need in an unknown future.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. 75 p.
Pedagogisk forskning i Uppsala, ISSN 0348-3630 ; 169
Digital tablets, preschool, children's agency, affordance, minority language, video ethnography, Design for Learning
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-265324 (URN)978-91-506-2480-9 (ISBN)
2015-10-09, Gunnar Johansson, von Kraemers Allé 1A, 752 37 Uppsala, Uppsala, 11:25 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-11-04 Created: 2015-10-27 Last updated: 2015-11-05Bibliographically approved

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