Developments in technologies have led to far-reaching social changes in communication, as mobile digital devices permeate our day-to-day lives. This has also changed the way students engage with texts in higher education. This paper will report on a JISC-funded study into student engagements with technologies, illustrated by data from a 6-month multimodal journaling study using handheld devices to document practices with photos, video and notes, explored in a series of in-depth interviews. Drawing on sociomaterial approaches (e.g. Fenwick et al 2011) and Feenborg’s notion of the ‘margin of maneouvre’ (1999), the analysis focuses on three student forms of engagement in the data: ‘curation’, ‘combat’ and ‘coping’. The paper will conclude with implications for pedgagic and institutional practice, plus future directions for related research and theory.