1 Department of Aesthetics and Communication - Information and Media Studies, School of Communication and Culture, Arts, Aarhus University2 School of Communication and Culture - The Centre for Children's Literature, School of Communication and Culture, Arts, Aarhus University3 School of Communication and Culture - The Centre for Children's Literature, School of Communication and Culture, Arts, Aarhus University
Over the last couple of years, tablets - especially Apple's iPad - have become more frequent as a new, truly mobile technology in school settings, day care institutions and private homes. Tablets are being used for numerous purposes, being a sort of mix between a ‘real’ computer and a mobile phone and as such providing new possibilities and affordances for leaning, communication, entertainment, and play in different settings – formal as well as informal. In this paper I will present the findings from an ongoing study on the iPad as a tool for play and relate these to a discussion on the methodological implications and challenges related to conducting ethnographically inspired fieldwork of people’s everyday uses of mobile technologies. What is interesting about the iPad as a tool - or a toy - is the way in which it invites and supports certain types of use, and how it contributes to new, emerging ways of playing; new play patterns, which are characterized by browsing practices of multiple media uses, and of transgressing genres as well as spatial spheres. How can such a phenomenon or practice, characterized by its lack of delimitation, be studied in a meaningful way? How can individual’s constant remix and meaning making processes related to this specific technology be described? And further, how does the iPad function as a data collection tool in itself?