'You do the math': Mathletics and the play of online learning

Bjorn Nansen, Kabita Chakraborty, L Gibbs, Frank Vetere, Colin MacDougall

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    This article reports on a case study of the web-based educational maths application, Mathletics. The findings are drawn from an ethnographic study of children's technology use in Melbourne, Australia. We explore the experience, governance and commerce of children's Mathletics use, and offer insights into the developing possibilities and challenges emerging through the adoption of Web 2.0 applications for learning and education. In analyzing the interaction between students and this software, this article deploys two key concepts in technology studies - affordance and technicity - to develop a relational understanding of Mathletics play. This conceptualization of play, which accounts for the playability or give of a technology, helps to illuminate some ways in which the aesthetics, functionality, and materiality of this online application accommodate a number of - and often competing - uses, interests and values: parental anxieties, pedagogical concerns and corporate stakes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1216-1235
    Number of pages20
    JournalNew Media and Society
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


    • Affordance
    • counter-play
    • educational software
    • free labour
    • Mathletics
    • online learning
    • play
    • technicity
    • Web 2.0


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