This study reports how university students domesticate their personal laptops at the beginning of studies on a wireless campus. The aim was to examine how students integrate the laptop into their personal education experience, what sort of processes were experienced to render the laptop useful and meaningful, and how gender and IT proficiency influenced this process. Qualitative interview data with twenty students (identified and selected by quantitative survey) was analysed using the grounded theory approach during which a multi-aspect domestication process was identified. Results highlight the importance of a structured way of organising laptop initiatives in universities. It is important that students have the kind of support available that best suits their needs. Pedagogically, successful domestication enables students to integrate the computer into their learning experience. However, we argue that successful domestication allows the artefact to become more than just a tool for learning, but also an integral part of an individual's existing media environment. In effect, comfort of use and IT capability is regarded as only one way of expressing successful domestication. This article adds to the growing number of studies using domestication as an analytical and theoretical framework and considers the phenomenon in an under-researched area.
Field of science
- Media education