DIGITAL TEXTBOOKS IN THE ACTIVITY OF INSTRUCTION

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för pedagogik, kommunikation och lärande

Abstract: Purpose:The study aims to understand the dynamics behind the teachers motive to use and not use digital textbooks in the activity instruction of mathematics. How are the motives influenced by the perceived dynamics created by the use of the textbooks? An understanding of this might serve to give perspective to the difficulties in implementing educational technology as well as being of help for policymakers, decisionmakers, producers and designers of tools.Theory:Activity theory is used as a guiding framework for the research design as well as for interpretation. The aim of using this theory is to get a holistic view of the motives and the use as they are situated in a specific socio-cultural activity. Tools are considered embedded by human experience and hence not neutral but carriers of norms. The activity system of instruction with the teacher as subject is the unit of analysis. Concepts of systemic contradictions, as well as of congruency, are used to interpret data.Method:The study is empirical and explorative. Data is collected by interviewing 13 teachers already using, or previously using, two different kinds of digital textbooks. The digital textbooks have different approaches regarding how to present and communicate procedures in mathematics. The selection of teachers was not made in a randomised way. The interviews are analysed using thematic analysis, and comparisons of findings were made for difference in tool.Results:With both tools, significant perceived contributions to efficiency were reported but not much sign of transition of instruction. Teachers gave account for systemic contradictions between the embedded norms of one of the textbooks, and the norms of pedagogy pre-existing in the activity system. Congruencies was also said to be prevalent when using both tools. Teacher tended to avoid contradictions with norms rather than achieving congruencies, including benefits of efficiency, when choosing to use digital textbooks. The dominating strategy was to use the digital tool as a complement to a printed textbook, augmenting the toolbox of the teacher.

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