The body of research within the design of mobile technology for use in k-12 education has primarily focused on the features and thereby new options that are brought about when utilizing mobile technologies in education. However, the theoretical concern for mobile technology’s effect on the child’s development is not yet fully covered. In this paper we argue that mobile technology is a valuable resource in K-12 education. Based on CHAT theory, we argue that mobile technology potentially mediates subject matter knowledge and everyday knowledge and thereby supports the child to acquire valuable theoretical thinking methods that can be used to analyze and understand the complexity in the world around her. Our empirical study derives from a three-year research project carried out in seven Danish primary schools. The research project enrolled the development of a mobile portfolio (eBag) in a participatory design context involving both teachers and students in the process. A four-month evaluation of the final version of the eBag was conducted to make a preliminary evaluation of the possibilities of mobile supported education. The result of this preliminary evaluation indicates that mobile technology in itself motivates children in their learning process. Furthermore, the study revealed that mobile technology could strengthen children’s engagement in their learning process by bridging subject matter knowledge and their everyday knowledge.
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Internatinal Society for Cultural and Activity Research, 2008