Constructing meanings for formal use of mobile communication applications in educational contexts

Ewerton Martins de Menezes, Heiko Horst Hornong, Maria Cecília Calani Baranauskas

Abstract


Mobile communication applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter, are already present in educational contexts, although their use is generally restricted to the original purpose of informal communication. In this paper, we investigate their potential to promote interaction in formal communication processes, exploring the meaning evolution of WhatsApp use in an undergraduate class setting. Based on an Organizational Semiotic analysis, we proposed a system to enable students to perform preparatory pre-class activities with WhatsApp exchanging commands, text and multimedia messages. Our analysis of the system use suggests that it is feasible and effective to appropriate mobile communication applications which students are already familiar with and use them in formal educational contexts.

Keywords


Mobile learning; WhatsApp; Communication and collaboration; Constructing meanings

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