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Community technology mapping: inscribing places when “everything is on the move”

  • Deborah Silvis
  • Katie Headrick Taylor
  • Reed Stevens
Article

Abstract

Interactive, digital mapping technology is providing new pedagogical possibilities for children and their families, as well as new methodological opportunities for education researchers. Our paper reports on an example of this novel terrain we call “Community Technology Mapping” (CTM). CTM was a designed task that was part of a larger ethnographic study of children and families’ digital media and technology practices in and around their homes. CTM incorporated interactive digital mapping technology with a structured interview protocol as a pedagogical context for young people and a methodological tool for researchers. As a pedagogical context for computer-supported collaborative learning, CTM supported young people to see and reflect on their everyday technological practices as temporally and spatially organized across scales of human interaction. As a methodological tool, CTM allowed researchers to see families’ place-based and on-the-move activities that were outside the more naturalistic observations of home-based technology use. Our analysis of CTM draws upon video recordings and screen captures of young people’s reflections on and live mappings of places they typically used technology and engaged with media. We found that children developed strategies with the mapping technology to make places visible, make them coherent, and make them mobile. These strategies produced a “cascade of inscriptions” within the CTM task for mapping new mobilities of digital, daily life. We argue that interactive digital mapping technologies not only support researchers to ask new questions about the spatiotemporal aspects of learning phenomena, but also contribute to a new genre of place-based, digital literacies- locative literacy- for learners to navigate.

Keywords

Mapping Families Computer-supported collaborative learning Pedagogical approaches Research methods 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was made possible by the generous families who welcomed us into their homes as well as field work contributed by Dionne Champion. It was supported by NSF Grant SBE-0354453, partners at the LIFE Center, and the Joan Gantz Cooney Center’s Families and Media Project. We would also like to thank Adam Bell and others at the Interaction Analysis Lab at the University of Washington, Sarah Elwood for comments on early analysis and insights on Google Earth mapping, and Karen Wieckert, Ben Shapiro, and three anonymous AERA reviewers in the Culture, Media, and Learning SIG for valuable feedback on this project.

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© International Society of the Learning Sciences, Inc. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Learning Sciences & Human Development, College of EducationUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Learning Sciences School of Education and Social PolicyNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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