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What is Technological Affordances

Handbook of Research on Cultural and Economic Impacts of the Information Society
This term is used to refer to new technologies and what tasks users can possibly perform with technologies at their disposal. The term technological affordance was coined by Ian Hutchby as a reaction against social constructivism. He used it to describe the material constraints of a technology and their specific applications. For example, we perceive staircase in terms of what it facilitates – climbing floors – which constitutes its affordance(s). Similarly, Google Plus or Kindle has its own affordances; Kindle is used for reading books and cannot be used the way we use an iPad. Thus, affordances are linked to material-constraints of technologies in question.
Published in Chapter:
Culture of Use of Moodle in Higher Education: Networked Relations between Technology, Culture and Learners
M. Shuaib Mohamed Haneef (Pondicherry University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8598-7.ch014
In this chapter, the use of Moodle, an open source Learning Management System (LMS), by the Department of Electronic Media and Mass Communication in Pondicherry University, as a means to supplement classroom teaching has been examined drawing on Actor Network Theory (ANT). This chapter reveals that the use of Moodle gives rise to a new digital culture which is inscribed on the prior cultural template that students, instructors and institutions bring to have a bearing on their teaching and learning activities. However, the rise of such a digital culture is due to the human and material assemblages constituted by how students and instructors inscribe their manifestoes on Moodle and how Moodle inscribes its manifestations on them. Further, the performative potential of Moodle is explained by its networked interaction with other social, human and non-human actors such as the culture of using technology for learning, digital literacy skills, emergent digital divide, access issues among students and teachers, educational and economic background and institutional media ecology among others.
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The Networked Effect of Children and Online Digital Technologies
The possibilities and permissions that a technological artefact encloses. These possibilities and permissions emerge during the interaction process between user and the technological artefact.
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