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Research projects

Connecting digital and analog literacy: The potential of the digital pencil for text creation in school (DigiPen)

About this project

Project information

Project status

In progress 2022 - 2024


Anders Björkvall

Research subject

Research environments

The rapid digitalization of society is reflected in schools, with students and teachers using digital resources to write, draw, read and search for information. Although such resources are now well-established in school practices, there is still a tendency to describe learning activities as either 'digital' or 'traditional'/'analog'. This project addresses this dichotomy – and thereby also issues related to digitalization of schools in general – by focusing on one of the key symbols of education: the pencil. A pilot project addresses two questions: What meaning and learning potentials do digital pencils offer learners in compulsory school? How can digital pencils connect to previous literacy tools and cultures? The project is framed by multimodal and social semiotic theory, and a design-oriented perspective on learning. The methodology is multimodal ethnography, which uses tools from ethnography combined with tools for semiotic analysis of objects and texts. The project contributes to our knowledge of the potential of digital pencils for learning and meaning-making, as well as to our knowledge of how they can relate to uses of analog pencils and other literacy tools, something that has not been studied in previous research.

Research funding bodies

  • Logitech
  • Konstfack
  • Örebro University