We examine teachers’ classroom activities with the spreadsheet, focusing especially on episodes marked by improvisation and uncertainty. The framework is based on Saxe’s cultural approach to cognitive development. The study considers two teachers, one positively disposed towards classroom use of technology, and the other not, both of them experienced and in a context in which spreadsheet use was compulsory: a new curriculum in France for upper secondary non-scientific classes. The paper presents and contrasts the two teachers in view of Saxe’s parameters, and analyzes their activity in two similar lessons. Goals emerging in these lessons show how teachers deal with instrumented techniques and the milieu under the influence of cultural representations. The conclusion examines the contribution that the approach and the findings can bring to understanding technology integration in other contexts, especially teacher education.
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