Volume 18 · Number 2 · Pages 202–206
Almost in Our Grasp: The (Slow) Digital Return of Multimodal Educational Resources

Dor Abrahamson

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Open peer commentary on the article “Living in Mapworld: Academia, Symbolic Abstraction, and the Shift to Online Everything” by Simon Penny. Abstract: Whereas I empathize with Penny’s grave concern over current modalist instructional technology - “modalist” in the sense of privileging one modality, predominantly vision, at the expense of all others - I do not quite share his bleak assessment of future offerings. Following some hopefully inspiring words from historical philosophers of education, I showcase the Quad, a haptic-tactile mechatronic device built by three US-based laboratories collaborating to create modally expansive learning tools for classrooms that are inclusive of sensorially diverse students. While the Quad is “digital” in the familiar computational sense, it is at once “digital” in the corporeal sense of evoking the fingers - it reintroduces mutimodal engagement into mathematics learning.


Abrahamson D. (2023) Almost in our grasp: The (slow) digital return of multimodal educational resources. Constructivist Foundations 18(2): 202–206. https://constructivist.info/18/2/202

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