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  • 1.
    Dahlström, Helene
    Mittuniversitetet, Fakulteten för humanvetenskap, Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Affordances, Writing tools (digital and pen) and Student agency: A student perspective2018Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Affordances, Writing tools (digital and pen) and Student agency - A student perspective

     

     

    This paper reports on a multiple methods study of Swedish primary school students´ access to digital tools for writing. The study also explores how students perceive the affordances of digital tools as well as pen and paper tools when creating stories. The results are discussed in relation to the concept of student agency. The research questions were: 

     

    What access to digital tools do students have and how can the access be understood in relation to student agency?

    How can the affordances of different tools for writing perceived by the students be understood in relation to student agency?  

     

    The digital society challenges what is being taught in contemporary education. The debate is often about pen and paper versus digital tools and in what direction teaching is going to change due to this (Linderoth, 2016). But the question about what is being taught, the content of the education, in order to suit contemporary and future society is also important to discuss. When professional writing takes place digitally- in word-processing programs, it would be natural to focus a writing process that students learn as a preparation for their professional lives, including mastery of text editing, and because these word processing programs containing spell checking and grammar control, it means that students can focus more on texts content than its form (Linderoth, 2016). Using technology as tools does not automatically improve the learning, but learning can be seen as something else than it has traditionally done, according to Säljö (2010). He indicates that the competencies necessary in school and in society can no longer be limited to our bodies and mind. The competencies are now to be expressed in the mastery of and in collaboration with external tools. Tools for writing have developed from societal, social and individual needs. Social changes produce other changes as different technological needs (Säljö, 2010, Kress, 2010). Bezemer & Kress (2016) suggests that we ask open questions about gains and losses with current social and digital development. Exploring students' perceptions about the affordances of different writing tools and discuss this in relation to student agency is one step in that direction.

     

    Having access and ability to use digital writing tools can be a matter of accessibility and equivalence (Samuelsson, 2014). Writing with digital tools can mean an extended possibility to independently participate in writing activities in the classroom (Agelii Genlott & Grönlund, 2016). Scaffolding tools like computer software can lead to that writers can be able to carry out tasks that would otherwise be beyond his or her normal efforts (Stone, 2002). Handwriting is seen by other researchers as important for the cognitive development, perception and motor action (Mangen, 2016). Based on this contradictory former research, it is important to explore students' perception of the affordances created in the meeting between student and writing tools.

    Every medium that we use to communicate has affordances. These affordances are to be seen as social and material possibilities and constraints. The media we use and the affordances they offer influences how we make meaning (Adami & Kress, 2010). In this article, affordances are seen as relational (Hutchy, 2001), and are described according to their functionality (Gibson, 1979). The concept of agency refers to student's active participation and ability to act independently in writing activities in a school context (Selander & Kress, 2010; Bezemer & Kress, 2016). When the learner´s agency is in focus, the learner is seen as being able to act independent and able to make choices of their own (Selander & Kress, 2010).

     

    Method

    Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used to get a broad and deep understanding of the empirical data. Methods used were a statistical survey and qualitative interviews. This study consists of two strands: a qualitative interview strand and a quantitative survey strand. An affordance analyse were used to interpret the empirical findings from the qualitative interviews. The quantitative survey was analysed using the software program SPSS. Six classes from five different schools located in a community in the middle of Sweden were chosen as an informant group for this study. In total 111 students participated.

    Expected Outcomes

    The students had high access to digital tools for writing at home as well as at school. Students had the highest access to computers, but the majority had to share it with their family. There were a small number of students that did not have access at all to a computer or a tablet. Findings indicate that the most common conditions were that students shared digital tools for writing with the family. This could, in fact, mean that they felt that they got low access to digital tools. Similar findings were found in the school context, students described that even though the school had digital tools, they were not allowed to use them to the extent they wanted to. This can, in relation to students' agency, imply that these students have less agency than those that have their own devices at home or are allowed to use the digital resources for real in school. The empirical findings from the affordance analysis were conducted in two steps. First, the affordances perceived by the students were investigated, followed by an analysis of how that affordance could be understood in relation to student agency. Four affordances emerged when students used digital tools: write-ability, edit-ability, story-telling ability, and accessibility. When using pen and paper as writing tools, two affordances were perceived by the students: In relation to student agency could the affordances of write-ability and edit-ability when writing digitally, for example, mean an increased capacity to communicate and the affordances of individual write-ability mean an increased to develop a personal style.

     

    References

    Adami, E. & Kress, G. (2010). The social semiotics of convergent mobile devices: New forms of composition and the transformation of habitus. In G. Kress (Ed.), Multimodality. A social semiotic to contemporary communication (pp. 184-197). London: Routledge. Agélii

    Genlott, A., & Grönlund, Å. (2016). Closing the gaps: Improving literacy and mathematics by ict-enhanced collaboration. Computers & Education, 99, 68-80.

    Bezemer, J. & Kress, G. (2016). Multimodality, learning and communication, A social semiotic frame. Oxon and New York: Routledge

    Kress, G. (2010). Multimodality: A social semiotic approach to contemporary communication. London: Routledge.

    Linderoth, J (2016). Lärarens återkomst: från förvirring till upprättelse. Stockholm: Natur och Kultur.

    Mangen, A. (2016). What Hands May Tell Us About Reading and Writing. Educational Theory, (66) 457-477.

    Samuelsson, U. (2014). Digital (o) jämlikhet? IKT-användning i skolan and elevers tekniska Kapital. (Avhandling) (nr 23). Högskolan för lärande och kommunikation, Högskolan i Jönköping.

    Selander, S. & Kress, G. (2010). Design för lärande - ett multimodalt perspektiv. Stockholm: Norstedts. Säljö, R. (2010). Digital tools and challenges to institutional traditions of learning: technologies, social memory and the performative nature of learning. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 26(1), 53-64.

     

  • 2.
    Dahlström, Helene
    Umeå universitet.
    Alternativa verktyg - en lösning för en mer tillgänglig skola?: En studie av ett skoldatateks arbete med att utveckla alternativa lösningar för elever i läs och skrivsvårigheter, ur ett användarperspektiv.2009Övrigt (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 3.
    Dahlström, Helene
    Mittuniversitetet, Fakulteten för humanvetenskap, Institutionen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Digital writing tools from the student perspective: Access, affordances, and agency2019Ingår i: Education and Information Technologies: Official Journal of the IFIP technical committee on Education, ISSN 1360-2357, E-ISSN 1573-7608, Vol. 24, nr 2, s. 1563-1581Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Along with digital development, new possibilities for communicating have emerged. The younger generation has adopted these new possibilities to a great extent. In order to be able to utilise the opportunities offered by digital tools when writing, access to digital tools is essential. Schools need to develop a writing education that meets students’ contemporary writing needs. In considering this, it is important to learn more about the gains and the losses in digital writing. The purpose of this study was to understand and discuss the relation between students’ digital access, students’ per- ceived affordances with digital writing, and student agency. The methods used were a statistical survey and qualitative interviews. Six classes from five different schools located in a municipality in the middle of Sweden were chosen as an informant group. The results indicate that the most common condition concerning students’ digital access was that students shared digital tools for writing with their families. An analysis of affordances was carried out to interpret the empirical findings from the qualitative data. Affordances that emerged were: write-ability, edit-ability, story-telling ability and accessibility. In addition, the ways in which digital access and the affordances per- ceived can be related to student agency were analysed. The main conclusion was that given the conditions of digital access and opportunities to practice, the affordances of digital writing can increase student agency. In turn, this suggests that writing education that focuses on student agency can contribute to equity in writing activities.

  • 4.
    Dahlström, Helene
    Mittuniversitetet, Fakulteten för humanvetenskap, Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Digitala verktyg i läs och skriundervisningen2015Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [sv]

    Abstract

     Presentationen består av två delar. Inledningsvis presenterar jag metod och resultat från en tidigare skriven magisteruppsats, vidare vill jag delge konferensdeltagarna mitt nuvarande forskningsintresse, forskningsfrågor och val av metod till en kommande doktorsavhandling.

     

     Det övergripande syftet med magisteruppsatsen var att undersöka om alternativa verktyg bidrar till inkludering för elever i läs och skrivsvårigheter. Ett av resultaten som framkom var att elever som hade tillgång till datorer som alternativ till bok och penna vid läs och skrivaktiviteter angav en förbättring gällande att följa den ordinarie undervisningen, samt att själva läsandet och skrivandet gick lättare. Om det var en inkluderande lösning gav inte undersökningen ett entydigt svar på.

     

    Mitt forskningsintresse handlar nu om hur implementeringen av digitala verktyg till samtliga elever i en klass påverkar läs- och skriv aktiviteterna. Texterna får, via de digitala verktygen en multimodal karaktär som förenas i ett format. Detta format innehåller både text, ljud och bild. Vilken påverkan detta kan ha för elever i läs och skrivsvårigheter är ett, för mig, intressant studieobjekt.

     

  • 5.
    Dahlström, Helene
    Mittuniversitetet, Fakulteten för humanvetenskap, Institutionen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Digitaliseringens betydelse: Elevers textskapande: Del 7 i läslyftsmodulen Digitalt textarbete årskurs 4-92019Övrigt (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 6.
    Dahlström, Helene
    Mittuniversitetet, Fakulteten för humanvetenskap, Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Does narrative writing change when students use digital devices?2016Konferensbidrag (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 7.
    Dahlström, Helene
    Mittuniversitetet, Fakulteten för humanvetenskap, Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Multimodal Digital story-creation, Affordances and Students´ agency2018Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

     

                                     Multimodal Digital story-creation, Affordances and Students´ agency  

     

     

    Helene Dahlström

    PhD in Education

    Mid Sweden University

    helene.dahlstrom@miun.se

      The availability of multiple ways of communicating and expressing us has increased due to the digitization of society. These different ways of communicating also mean that we to a greater extent, use different modes as communication resources than we did before. Digital resources, provides an access to different modes within the same device. Given this changes of communicating, there is a need to explore how students, in a school context are using these changing conditions for text creation. This study will explore how Swedish 11-12 years old students use different modes while creating digital stories. The study will have a multimodal approach, which generally refers to the fact that representation, communication and interaction are more than verbal and treat the choice of modes as significant (Archer & Breuer, 2015). The existence of choice for students in text creation can be seen as students´ agency through choices (Bezemer & Kress, 2016). The unique affordances of modes give the sign maker the opportunity to choose which mode that are best suited to convey a special message, based on their interests and needs. This ongoing study will explore how students´ agency can be understood in relation to the affordances that the different modes offer, when students create digital stories. The data collection consists of video recording of 26 students creating digital stories, and of the multimodal texts, created by these students. Questions to be answered are: How do students use different modes in digital story-telling? What affordances do different modes offer and how can those be understood in relation to students´ agency?

     

     

     

    References:

     

    Archer, A. & Breuer, E. (2015). Methodological and pedagogical approaches to multimodality in writing. I G. Rijlaarsdam (Series Ed.) & A. Archer & E. Breuer (Vol. Eds.), Studies in Writing: Vol. 30, Multimodality in writing (pp. 1–16). Leiden: Brill.

    Bezemer, J. & Kress, G. (2016). Multimodality, learning and communication, A social semiotic frame. Oxon and New York: Routledge

    Kress, G. (2010). Multimodality: A social semiotic approach to contemporary communication. London: Routledge.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • 8.
    Dahlström, Helene
    Mittuniversitetet, Fakulteten för humanvetenskap, Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    What happens when multimodality comes into the classroom?: A study of Swedish children’s use of multiple modes while creating narrative text2016Ingår i: The Digital Literacy and Multimodal Practices of Young Children: Engaging with Emergent Research / [ed] Íris Pereira, Altina Ramos and Jackie Marsh, Braga, Portugal: Centro de Investigação em Educação (CIEd) /Research Centre on Education Instituto de Educação, Universidade do Minho , 2016, s. 60-66Kapitel i bok, del av antologi (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study is to analyse and describe the impact of digital devices with a multimodal character on children's creations of narrative texts. The focus will be on the process of creating texts, the conditions for creating texts and the results, the texts. Text is seen as multimodal and the theoretical approach is social semiotics. The method will involve a multimodal didactic design approach. Data sources will include observations, interviews, and text analysis. The analyses will comprise content analysis, writing discourse analysis and multimodal text analysis. The study is still in progress so some expected outcomes are presented in the text. 

  • 9.
    Dahlström, Helene
    et al.
    Mittuniversitetet, Fakulteten för humanvetenskap, Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Boström, Lena
    Mittuniversitetet, Fakulteten för humanvetenskap, Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Gains and losses: Handwriting Versus Digital Writing2017Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study, we compared three different writing conditions – pen and paper; tablet and tablet with access to speech synthesis. The study was conducted within a class of fourth graders in Sweden. The aim was to examine how these different conditions for writing affected students’ creation of narrative text. The empirical data consists of students’ texts completed with data from participant observations. The texts were analysed in order to capture dimensions of how the students express themselves from different perspectives such as the use of different verbs in terms of doing, being, sensing or talking (process analyse), the text structure and linguistic correctness. Findings show that digital writing with access to speech synthesis played a crucial role in improving students’ writing. This result turned out to be mainly valid for students with Swedish as their second language. When it comes to findings from the process analyse, that examined one aspect of the content of the texts was that processes that describe verbs of being increased when students wrote digitally, regardless of first or second language for the students.

  • 10.
    Dahlström, Helene
    et al.
    Mittuniversitetet, Fakulteten för humanvetenskap, Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Boström, Lena
    Mittuniversitetet, Fakulteten för humanvetenskap, Avdelningen för utbildningsvetenskap.
    Pros and Cons: Handwriting Versus Digital Writing2017Ingår i: Nordic Journal of Digital Literacy, ISSN 1891-943X, E-ISSN 1891-943X, Vol. 12, nr 4, s. 143-161Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This study compares three different writing conditions – pen and paper, tablet, and tablet with access to speech synthesis – within a class of fourth graders in Sweden. The aim was to examine if these different conditions for writing had any impact on students’ creation of narrative text. The empirical data consists of students’ texts, composed under these three conditions, completed with data from participant observations. The theoretical model, the Wheel of Writing, in combination with a process analysis described in Systemic Functional Linguistics, served as a basis for analysis of the texts. Observations were analysed using content analysis. Findings presented in this article are partly in line with previous research. Speech synthesis seemed to play a crucial role in improving students’ writing. The texts were affected in terms of increased text length, spelling, structure, and content when using digital resources. These results were most obvious for students with Swedish as their sec- ond language. One core finding, which was true for most students, was that processes describing action verbs increased when students wrote digitally. Contradicting this, when students wrote by hand they used more processes, describing feelings and verbal processes.

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