Community technology mapping: inscribing places when “everything is on the move”

Deborah Silvis*, Katie Headrick Taylor, Reed Stevens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Interactive, digital mapping technology is providing new pedagogical possibilities for children and their families, as well as new methodological opportunities for education researchers. Our paper reports on an example of this novel terrain we call “Community Technology Mapping” (CTM). CTM was a designed task that was part of a larger ethnographic study of children and families’ digital media and technology practices in and around their homes. CTM incorporated interactive digital mapping technology with a structured interview protocol as a pedagogical context for young people and a methodological tool for researchers. As a pedagogical context for computer-supported collaborative learning, CTM supported young people to see and reflect on their everyday technological practices as temporally and spatially organized across scales of human interaction. As a methodological tool, CTM allowed researchers to see families’ place-based and on-the-move activities that were outside the more naturalistic observations of home-based technology use. Our analysis of CTM draws upon video recordings and screen captures of young people’s reflections on and live mappings of places they typically used technology and engaged with media. We found that children developed strategies with the mapping technology to make places visible, make them coherent, and make them mobile. These strategies produced a “cascade of inscriptions” within the CTM task for mapping new mobilities of digital, daily life. We argue that interactive digital mapping technologies not only support researchers to ask new questions about the spatiotemporal aspects of learning phenomena, but also contribute to a new genre of place-based, digital literacies- locative literacy- for learners to navigate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-166
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • Computer-supported collaborative learning
  • Families
  • Mapping
  • Pedagogical approaches
  • Research methods

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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