Peacemaking in School Contexts Using Interactive Tabletops

This study examines how the use of tabletop technology might be able to promote peaceful attitudes and mitigate conflict in a school environment.

The participants were twenty (20) K‐12students (grades 3‐6) at a public elementary school in the eastern Mediterranean.The school is characterized by large numbers of foreign students (i.e., minority enrollment), high drop‐out rate and increased incidences of conflict (verbal and physical), violence and delinquency. Students worked in conflicting groups of four students each on various learning and game activities around an interactive tabletop, over the span of three weeks.

Analysis of student interviews, triangulated with findings from video data, revealed that tabletop technology can become a means for communication and collaboration, give the chance for students in conflict to share a common space, and help shape better attitudes and relationships among them, which extends beyond the duration of the intervention.

The study provides insights on the use of interactive tabletops for peacemaking in conflict‐stressed school environments. This study launched in Spring 2014 and was coordinated by the Cyprus Interaction Lab of the Department of Multimedia and  Graphic Arts (Lecturer Andri Ioannou, PhD Candidate Chrystalla Antoniou and Research Assistant Antigoni Kafkaridou). Follow‐up investigations will be conducted in order to examine issues of‘depth’ related to how technology interventions may result in peacemaking in school contexts.

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