This paper examines the added value of a digital tool that constitutes a new model to introduce students to multiplication. Drawing on the theory of semiotic mediation, the semiotic potential of this new model is analysed with respect to the same task that can be solved in two different settings (the digital tool and pencil and paper). The analysis shows that the task solutions undergo significant changes depending on to the technological settings. Even though the end product of the model–task dyads might look the same in both settings, the product emerges from the different processes that would mediate quite different meanings for multiplication. This suggests that while designing tasks that involve mathematical models, rather than focusing only on the end product, considering the whole process would reveal the extensive potential meanings the model–task dyad can mediate.
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