Conceptual Blending as an Interpretive Lens for Student
Engagement with Technology: Exploring Celestial Motion
on an Interactive Whiteboard
We present and analyze video data of upper secondary school students’ engagement with a computer-supported collaborative learning environment that enables them to explore astronomical phenomena (Keplerian motion). The students’ activities have an immersive and exploratory character, as students engage in open-ended inquiry and interact physically with the virtual environment displayed on an interactive whiteboard. The interplay of students’ playful exploration through physical engagement with the simulation environment, their attention to physics concepts and laws, and knowledge about the real planets orbiting the Sun presents an analytical challenge for the researcher and instructor encountering such complex learning environments. We argue that the framework of conceptual blending is particularly apt for dealing with the learning environment at hand, because it allows us to take into account the many diverse mental inputs that seem to shape the student activities described in the paper. We show how conceptual blending can be brought together with theoretical ideas concerned with embodied cognition and epistemology of physics, in order to provide researchers and instructors with a powerful lens for looking critically at immersive technology-supported learning environments.
Gregorcic, B., & Haglund, J. (2018). Conceptual Blending as an Interpretive Lens for Student Engagement with Technology: Exploring Celestial Motion on an Interactive Whiteboard. Research in Science Education, 1–41. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11165-018-9794-