Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 737–752 | Cite as

Mobile video literacy: negotiating the use of a new visual technology

  • Alexandra WeilenmannEmail author
  • Roger Säljö
  • Arvid Engström
Original Article


In this article, we examine the practice of learning to produce video using a new visual technology. Drawing upon a design intervention at a science centre, where a group of teenagers tried a new prototype technology for live mobile video editing, we show how the participants struggle with both the content and the form of producing videos, i.e., what to display and how to do it in a comprehensible manner. We investigate the ways in which video literacy practices are negotiated as ongoing accomplishments and explore the communicative and material resources relied upon by participants as they create videos. Our results show that the technology is instrumental in this achievement and that as participants begin to master the prototype, they start to focus more on the narrative aspects of communicating the storyline of a science centre exhibit. The participants are explicitly concerned with such issues as how to create a comprehensible storyline for an assumed audience, what camera angles to use, how to cut and other aspects of the production of a video. We consider these observed activities to be candidate steps in an emerging mobile video literacy trajectory that involves developing a capacity to document and argue by means of this specific medium.


Mobile video Camera phones Video literacy Media literacy Video analysis Science centres 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandra Weilenmann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Roger Säljö
    • 1
  • Arvid Engström
    • 2
  1. 1.University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  2. 2.Mobile Life Centre, Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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