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Orchestrating multimodal resources – Pupils’ interaction and meaning making in a digital primary school context.

Conference paper
Authors Anne Öman
Published in 6th International Conference on Multimodality/centre for Multimodal research
Volume 2012
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Language en
Keywords Digital technology, classroom context, multimodality, sociocultural theory.
Subject categories Educational Sciences


Orchestrating multimodal resources – Pupils’ interaction and meaning making in a digital primary school context. Today the number of computers has generally increased in Swedish schools and digital technologies are more and more implemented in daily teaching even in primary schools, which impact on education in the contemporary classroom. Digital technologies open up for a multiplicity of modes and affordances but also a broader view of literacy as multimodal design, taking into account that language in a globalised society is more than reading and writing skills. Multimodal perspectives on literacy have the basic assumption that meanings are made through many representational and communicational resources, which language is one (Kress & van Leeuwen, 2001). From a multimodal perspective, different modes such as; image, sound, text, speech and gestures are organized sets of semiotic resources for meaning making (Jewitt, 2008; Kress 2006). This paper will aim to contribute and enrich the understanding of teaching and learning in a multimodal environment by presenting research findings from an advanced digital classroom environment where computers and multimodal software are integrated tools for learning in the classroom activities. The instance analyzed here is from a socio- cultural approach of learning where the focus is on the interactive, institutional and the context features of the practice. The analysis of the empirical data take a stand from a multimodal approach with focus on the process and how pupils orchestrate meaning through their selection and configuration of different resources in a primary school context. The findings show significant features of pupils’ interaction and how they explore the affordances of a multimodal landscape. The results points out examples of how pupils’ are creating products by using multimedia software in order to fulfil a digital learning task. Different modes such as; images, speech, texts, sounds, and special effects are used in various ways in elaboration. In what way pupils make meaning of these multimodal affordances, which comes along with emerging technologies in education, are further on discussed in the light of learning and curriculum knowledge.

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