Next Article in Journal
Tele-Guidance System to Support Anticipation during Communication
Next Article in Special Issue
The Communicative Effectiveness of Education Videos: Towards an Empirically-Motivated Multimodal Account
Previous Article in Journal
Reviews of Social Embodiment for Design of Non-Player Characters in Virtual Reality-Based Social Skill Training for Autistic Children
Previous Article in Special Issue
Maker Literacies and Maker Citizenship in the MakEY (Makerspaces in the Early Years) Project
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2018, 2(3), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti2030054

Tangible Representational Properties: Implications for Meaning Making

1
Institute of Education, University College London Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK
2
Departamento de Computação, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Rua Dom Manuel de Medeiros s/n, Recife-PE, CEP: 52171-900, Brazil
Received: 22 June 2018 / Revised: 20 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 5 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multimodal Learning)
Full-Text   |   PDF [1789 KB, uploaded 5 September 2018]   |  

Abstract

Tangible technologies are considered promising tools for learning, by enabling multimodal interaction through physical action and manipulation of physical and digital elements, thus facilitating representational concrete–abstract links. A key concept in a tangible system is that its physical components are objects of interest, with associated meanings relevant to the context. Tangible technologies are said to provide ‘natural’ mappings that employ spatial analogies and adhere to cultural standards, capitalising on people’s familiarity with the physical world. Students with intellectual disabilities particularly benefit from interaction with tangibles, given their difficulties with perception and abstraction. However, symbolic information does not always have an obvious physical equivalent, and meanings do not reside in the representations used in the artefacts themselves, but in the ways they are manipulated and interpreted. In educational contexts, meaning attached to artefacts by designers is not necessarily transparent to students, nor interpreted by them as the designer predicted. Using artefacts and understanding their significance is of utmost importance for the construction of knowledge within the learning process; hence the need to study the use of the artefacts in contexts of practice and how they are transformed by the students. This article discusses how children with intellectual disabilities conceptually interpreted the elements of four tangible artefacts, and which characteristics of these tangibles were key for productive, multimodal interaction, thus potentially guiding designers and educators. Analysis shows the importance of designing physical-digital semantic mappings that capitalise on conceptual metaphors related to children’s familiar contexts, rather than using more abstract representations. Such metaphorical connections, preferably building on physical properties, contribute to children’s comprehension and facilitate their exploration of the systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: intellectual disabilities; tangible technologies; multimodal interaction; design; conceptual metaphors intellectual disabilities; tangible technologies; multimodal interaction; design; conceptual metaphors
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Pontual Falcão, T. Tangible Representational Properties: Implications for Meaning Making. Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2018, 2, 54.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Multimodal Technologies Interact. EISSN 2414-4088 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top