Interactive Spaces for Learning

Student thesis: Master programme thesis

  • Gitte Dirkov Molbæk
4. term, Master of ICT and Learning (MIL) (Continuing education) (Continuing Education Programme (Master))
Interactive floors for learning and interactive spaces are currently established in schools and day-care institutions throughout Denmark. The motivation for this thesis is rooted in an interest in exploring the meaning of embodied interaction for learning processes and the interaction between technology, learning and the physical environment. This is a relatively unexplored field of research. The specific research question is: How can an alignment between technology, learning and the physical environment be created, giv-ing the body a central role in the learning process?

The study is based on a qualitative research method. 11 interviews with 13 primary and secondary school teachers, nursery teachers, architects and experts within this interdis-ciplinary field provide the basis of the research, as does an ethnographically inspired study of learning environments acquired with interactive floors for learning. A school project involving Kinect as a digital learning tool is also included.

The thesis is based on a Social Constructivist framework. The theoretical framework of understanding is based on theories of technology, a socio-cultural approach to learn-ing, the phenomenology of embodiment and concepts for analyzing space. In an at-tempt to understand the meaning of the body through interaction, Dourish and Moen are included. The study shows that interactive floors for learning and the Kinect- project support the development of communities of practice, differentiation in subjects, collab-oration, and diversity in participation and involvement. Interactive floors for learning act as a meaningful gathering place for mutual learning experiences. The kinesthetic inter-action, the multimodal communication and collaboration encourage and support learn-ing processes. Interaction in relation to the Kinect-project is not optimal because of its screen size. It is argued that a larger projection can create more natural interaction and thus a greater experience of social interaction.

Furthermore, the study indicates major differences in theories of technology and the implementation of interactive floors for learning in schools and day-care institutions, respectively. Technological determinism appears to be a dominating approach to the implementation of technology in the schools in question.



Accordingly, it is argued here that theories of technology are to be redefined in relation to the actual implementation of movement technologies. It turns out that well-functioning interactive spaces for learning are characterized by having features of dis-tinct design-philosophical coding, which support functions of the space in question. In order to create an alignment between technology, learning and the physical environ-ment, it is recommended to take as one’s point of departure the educational visions of the school/institution in question.

In conclusion, the thesis suggests three interactive spaces for learning, which may sup-port individual challenges and mutual learning experiences: An in-depth space for indi-vidual learning, a project space for group work, and finally a space for bodily sensations and activities.





LanguageDanish
Publication date29 Sep 2013
Number of pages113
ID: 81302612