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Teachers' activities mediated through a digital mathematics textbook: When technology innovation meets practical activity

Naturvetenskap & IT
Utbildning & lärande

Final thesis seminar with Marie Utterberg Modén. Marie is PhD-student in Applied Information technology towards Educational Sciences.

21 apr 2021
10:00 - 12:00
Ytterligare information
Marie Utterberg

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Discussant: Professor Lena Pareto, Media and Design, University West, and University of Gothenburg.


Today, many digital mathematics textbooks are revamped into learning management systems, which include both management support for teachers and data report of students’ performance. In addition to embedding multimodal approaches and different modes of mathematical representations, digital data are collected directly as students interact with the digital textbook.

There are those who suggest a key shift when data sets make it possible to track performance of all students, react just-in-time and adjust the learning environment. Algorithms that analyse data to inform teachers and make predictions allow for data driven education. Further, digital mathematics textbooks sometimes include adaptation informed by advanced software, used to analyse student performance, and present each student with tasks and feedback that are suitable to develop their knowledge. Even though features of digital textbooks are intended to reduce demands on teachers and facilitate their work, it seems that they put teachers in a new position and lead to new and substantial challenges.

During the years, attempts have been made to understand introduction of technology in mathematics education, but many questions remain incompletely answered. Introduction of technology needs to be understood through its systemic implications. Activity theory is particularly useful to address those aspects and recognises that human activities have a systemic nature which are always situated in context.

Methodologically the thesis adopts a practice-based approach, that allows for context sensitivity and a multifaceted understanding of work activities. A close engagement between researchers and teachers have been provided opportunities to deeply understand mediation through digital textbooks and contextual elements shaping involvement in teaching activity. The research is conducted in Swedish compulsory schools and consist of case studies and formative interventions.