Open Source Learning Streams in Social Media in Year 11 Math Teaching

Thomas Kjaergaard
Aalborg University, Denmark

Elsebeth Korsgaard Sorensen
Aalborg University, Denmark


The students’ use of social media during lessons and in group work is a general concern amongst teachers especially from secondary school and onwards. The blurred ecotones between private, social and academic life brought on by the always present online mobile technology makes utilization of social media in teaching a balancing act. On the one hand the teachers in this study welcome the possibilities for communicating, sharing and producing academically relevant products, and on the other hand they fear that the rhizomatic connection between what is academic and what is regarded as non-academic is disrupting the learning process. Hence, teachers take different measures in order for the ecotones to either separate or engage in fruitful synergy. In this study two very different approaches are taken within similar pedagogical designs in a highly comparable context. In theory the outcome of the pedagogic design should be the same but in practice the two teachers achieve very different results. The study utilizes the deleuzean notion of ‘interest’ and ‘desire’ and problematizes the common use of ‘motivation’ in pedagogy. The study analyzes what appears to be a conflict between the institutionalized ‘interests’ of the educational system and personal ‘desires’ of the student. In one case the institutionalized interest and the personal desire of the student share a significant intersection; whereas the other case shows a clash of ‘interest’ and ‘desire’. The study also shows a clash between content driven teaching and learning driven teaching. Finally the study shows that if a pedagogic design is imposed upon a teacher without his acceptance or full understanding of the design then the outcome is questionable. The study suggests a different approach to motivation that acknowledges that the process of learning is a desire of ‘becoming’ not the ‘pleasure’ of satisfaction through entertaining activities.

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