Investigating the Mathematical Discourse of Young Learners Involved in Multi-Modal Mathematical Investigations: The Case of Haptic Technologies

  • Beste GüçlerEmail author
  • Stephen Hegedus
  • Ryan Robidoux
  • Nicholas Jackiw
Part of the Mathematics Education in the Digital Era book series (MEDE, volume 1)


In this chapter, we examined the experiences of 10-year old (fourth grade) students in the United States involved in a dynamic multi-modal environment as they explored the characteristics of 3D geometrical shapes. The environment we developed provided visual and physical feedback to students through the PHANTOM Omni® haptic device. This dynamic multi-modal environment enabled semiotic mediation where meanings are generated and substantiated through social interaction as students worked in groups. Adhering to a socio-cultural theoretical perspective, we mainly focused on students’ discourse when exploring the affordances of multi-modal technologies in their mathematical experiences. Our preliminary findings indicated that such technologies have the potential to present students with the opportunities to explore 3D objects through multiple perceptions, supporting meaningful discourse as students engage in mathematical activities such as exploring, conjecturing, negotiating meaning, and sense-making.


Multi-modal technologies Mathematical discourse Semiotic mediation Dynamic geometry Haptic technology 3D geometry Elementary grades 



This work is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. REC-0835395. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beste Güçler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stephen Hegedus
    • 1
  • Ryan Robidoux
    • 1
  • Nicholas Jackiw
    • 2
  1. 1.Kaput Center for Research and Innovation in STEM EducationUniversity of Massachusetts DartmouthFairhavenUSA
  2. 2.KCP TechnologiesEmeryvilleUSA

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