This essay examines a way of letting children relate to place through an activity based on one-to-one conversation with an adult, supported by interactive satellite photo on a tablet computer. The investigated activity may be seen as a research method or an educational activity. Two questions are addressed: What kinds of experiences of place are possible to communicate in the activity? and How are conditions for this communication formed through the activity? The results are compared to previous research on activities such as walks, photographs and drawings.
Eleven children at the age of 8 participated in the activity. Screencasts and audio recordings were made and analysed in order to answer the research questions.
The work is based on geographical theory, starting with a discussion on place and space, and is further inspired by approaches in the research field Children’s geographies. In addition to this, design activity in learning processes is used a theoretical and analytical perspective.
I argue that interactivity with a secondary representation of place (the digital satellite photo) can be described as something in between of place-interactivity and non-place-interactivity, and in between of creativity and non-creativity. At the same time, this inbetweenness forms a specific, new condition for communication. Furthermore, through observations of how the participating children make interpretations of, and negotiate, the activity, I discuss children’s need of room for sense making. Finally, I suggest that contemporary research methodology with children can be seen as a didactic example, demanding adults to put children’s rights, interests, participation and agency first.