The iPad as a Tool for Play: Methodological Considerations

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch

Over the last couple of years, tablets - especially Apple's iPad - have become more frequent as a new, truly mobile technology in school settings, day care institutions and private homes. Tablets are being used for numerous purposes, being a sort of mix between a ‘real’ computer and a mobile phone and as such providing new possibilities and affordances for leaning, communication,
entertainment, and play in different settings – formal as well as informal.
In this paper I will present the findings from an ongoing study on the iPad as a tool for play and relate these to a discussion on the methodological implications and challenges related to conducting ethnographically inspired fieldwork of people’s everyday uses of mobile technologies. What is interesting about the iPad as a tool - or a toy - is the way in which it invites and supports certain
types of use, and how it contributes to new, emerging ways of playing; new play patterns, which are characterized by browsing practices of multiple media uses, and of transgressing genres as well as spatial spheres. How can such a phenomenon or practice, characterized by its lack of delimitation,
be studied in a meaningful way? How can individual’s constant remix and meaning making processes related to this specific technology be described? And further, how does the iPad function as a data collection tool in itself?
Original languageEnglish
Publication yearAug 2013
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Eventnordmedia 2013: Defending Democracy - Oslo, Norway
Duration: 8 Aug 201311 Aug 2013


Conferencenordmedia 2013: Defending Democracy

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