‘Talking Tools': Sloyd Processes Become Multimodal Stories with Smartphone Documentation

‘Talking Tools': Sloyd Processes Become Multimodal Stories with Smartphone Documentation

Annika Wiklund-Engblom (MediaCity, Åbo Akademi University, Vasa, Finland), Kasper Hiltunen (Faculty of Education, Åbo Akademi University, Vasa, Finland), Juha Hartvik (Faculty of Education, Åbo Akademi University, Vasa, Finland), Mia Porko-Hudd (Faculty of Education, Åbo Akademi University, Vasa, Finland), and Marléne Johansson (Faculty of Education, Åbo Akademi University, Vasa, Finland)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/ijmbl.2014040104
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The study presented is part of a work-in-progress project of developing a mobile application for smartphones, Talking Tools (TT). The first context TT is developed for and tested in is sloyd education [Swedish: slöjd], a compulsory subject taught in Finnish schools. In sloyd learners design and manufacture unique artifacts in various materials (textiles, wood, metal, and electronics). The process-based work flow of sloyd lends itself well to this kind of educational tool, which aids multimodal documentation, communication, and instruction. The empirical study targets what student teachers (N=11) microblogged about and the character of the blog posts during a sloyd project. A sociocultural perspective of appropriating new tools for learning is used as a theoretical frame, as well as views on multimodality and transmedia. Their sloyd process is discussed in terms of transmedia storybuilding, as learners build their own story as a flow of content through their documentation and interactions.
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In the Nordic countries, sloyd is a common free time activity in society, as well as an activity in educational contexts (Johansson & Lindfors, 2008; Nygren-Landgärds, 2003). The word sloyd etymologically stems from the old Swedish word slöghþ, which stands for shrewdness, diligence, skilfulness and smartness, and the word slögher, denoting characteristics such as being handy, being deft, having professional skills, being skilful, experienced, and resourceful (Svenska Akademins ordbok, 1981). Kojonkoski-Rännäli (1995) discusses the phenomenon of sloyd through analysing the words ‘hand’ and ‘work’ that form the Finnish word for sloyd, käsityö. The word ‘hand’ shows that the materials used in sloyd are concrete and tangible. In working the material, you use your hands, body and various tools. The concept of ‘work’ shows that the actor is a human being and that the work that is realized is a result of planning and modelling.

Sloyd as a core subject was established in Finland in connection with the introduction of Folk schools in the 1860s (Nurmi, 1979). Educational sloyd was, from the outset, tasked with objectives that resided outside the concrete making and practice of everyday sloyd (Peltonen, 1998). The sloyd class is learner-centred and allows everyone to work from their own ability and motivation in creating artefacts within a predefined educational and curricular frame.

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