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Affordances in Social Media for Education


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This presentation provides a definition for software affordances and introduces affordances that can prove useful in modules for Visual Arts education.

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Affordances in Social Media for Education

  1. 1. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes * Beware ! A PowerPoint presentation is not a social media presentation! Affordances in Social Media for Education. *
  2. 2. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes My PhD in Media Studies Research Title Understanding functionality in software: the affordances of free, web 2.0 graphic software in art education. How & Why software interfaces ? Important to communicate their affordances ? Why only to secondary school students ? Describe engaged in the online creation of ... Why specifically visual art? Research Question (in black!)
  3. 3. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes Environmental scientists, ecologists, make use of the concept of niche . A given species of animal is said to utilize a certain niche in the environment. It is not the same as habitat of the species, that is, where it lives, but rather how it lives. I suggest that a niche is a set of affordances. The natural environment offers many ways of life and a way of life is a set of affordances that are utilized. J. J. Gibson (1977, 1979) What is an affordance in psychology?
  4. 4. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes … J.J. Gibson’s definition can be confusing. Discussions of Gibson's concept of affordance have been plagued by confusion about where to locate the reference of the term . For example, is the affordance that a chair provides for sitting a property of the chair , a property of the person who sits on it or perceives that he or she could sit on it, or something else ? Credit: Wayne Ho and Joanna McGrenere (2000)
  5. 5. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes There already exists the start of a psychology of materials and of things, the study of affordances of objects. When used in this sense, the term affordance refers to the perceived and actual properties of the thing , primarily those fundamental properties that determine just how the thing could possibly be used. What is an affordance in Human Computer Interface and Interaction Design ?
  6. 6. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes What is a perceived affordance? What the designer cares about is whether the user perceives that some action is possible (or in the case of perceived non-affordances, not possible). The concept has caught on, but not always with true understanding. Part of the blame lies with me: I should have used the term " perceived affordance ," for in design, we care much more about what the user perceives than what is actually true.
  7. 7. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes … Donald Norman’s definition is ambiguous. Norman’s definition [of affordances] spread quickly and some inherent ambiguities have lead to a widely varying usage in HCI literature… Wayne Ho and Joanna McGrenere (2000)
  8. 8. <ul><li>As the concept of affordances is used currently, it has marginal </li></ul><ul><li>value, because it lacks specific meaning . Returning to a </li></ul><ul><li>definition close to that of Gibson’s would solidify the concept and </li></ul><ul><li>would also recognise that designing the utility or functional </li></ul><ul><li>purpose is a worthwhile endeavour in its own right. In order for </li></ul><ul><li>the affordance concept to be used fully in the design world, </li></ul><ul><li>however, Gibson’s definition needs to incorporate the notion of </li></ul><ul><li>varying degrees of affordances . </li></ul><ul><li>Wayne Ho and Joanna McGrenere (2000) </li></ul>09/29/09 Travis Noakes A better concept for affordances is needed in HCI/ID.
  9. 9. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes Use Semiotic Engineering to define a “software affordance” Use the right metaphor - Software is an epistemic tool, not a concrete artefact. Adopt a semiotic approach - Look at software development holistically as a semiotic process and aim to include ALL roleplayers/speech makers (i.e. The Designer’s Deputy ). Narrow the definition’s focus - Focus on the perceived and real affordances of an intellectual, software artefact (versus a natural environment’s, for example). Credit: Wayne Ho and Joanna McGrenere (2000)
  10. 10. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes Software application’s semiotic interface PLATFORM Base it on an semiotic view of the “speakers” in software perception invokes an action learns functionality offering feedback Browser Operating System Desktop, laptop, notebook, netbook or mobile software experience Device brand USER DEVELOPER DEVELOPER’S DEPUTY interpretation
  11. 11. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes A software affordance definition for ALL speakers. A software affordance is an action-possibility (or functionality ) that a developer’s software offers by communicating in the semiotic interface to a system and/or that a user interprets and may choose to invoke through that system, thereby learning about it.
  12. 12. What is your favourite online affordance? 09/29/09 Travis Noakes
  13. 13. 09/29/09 © Sourced from Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0 vs. Web 3.0
  14. 14. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes The Networked Teacher Credit Alec Couros
  15. 15. What can a teacher use? 09/29/09 © Youtube Myvideo zoopy Google Yahoo Hotmail Bing Wolfram Delicious diigo stumblupon Wordpress Typepad Squidoo Blogger ThoughtLeader (M&G) Picassa Flickr iStockphoto iTunes iLike spotify musopen lastfm pandora Share bookmarks Afrigator Amatomu Technorati Email and search  Upload a video edit SMS and chat  MSN Chat Skype MXit Blog Share photos Download music Download podcasts Upload a podcast Track your website’s popularity Advertise online Google adsense Facebook ads Run a survey Promote your blog Google Analytics Use a feed aggregator Rate, write reviews metacritic LinkedIn bigthink Facebook Twitter Myspace Friendster Orkut Social network Easy (consumer) Share a portfolio Use a CLOUD service to share files Google docs Sugarsync dropbox N.B. Just scratching the surface of what’s out there… N . N.B. Experiment with new services, different platforms , etc. Resource intensive (producer) Share shopping lists Amazon Create a group Launch software project Google Groups edgewall Take part in online forums Use newsgroups Create shared content (Wiki) Wikipedia Launch a petition Web 1.0 Web 2.0 Raise charity greatergoodsa Do search engine optimisation Share your slides and documents Slideshare docstoc Create your own social network Ning Subscribe to Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds Publish website pages  Create a portfolio site omeka Outsource your research or code Innocentive Marketocracy Topcoder Learn from experts CGSociety Download from an FTP site
  16. 16. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes <ul><li>Department of Education’s National Policy </li></ul><ul><li>Bridge the digital gap </li></ul><ul><li>Address the relevance gap </li></ul><ul><li>Bridge the participatory gap </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 technologies support OBE’s </li></ul><ul><li>democratic objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Accommodate special students’ needs </li></ul>Software affordances @ High School
  17. 17. 09/29/09 © Strategic thinking must factor in abundance management
  18. 18. <ul><li>The pedagogy of visual arts and visual design’s studio-based education can readily </li></ul><ul><li>accommodate Digital Visual Literacy (DVL) modules: </li></ul><ul><li>Visual literacy plays an important role in arts education, already. In particular, its focus on formal characteristics supports the understanding a communication’s form can be an important part of its content. This is seldom emphasized in text- and numbers-focused subjects; </li></ul><ul><li>The studio environment promotes better experimentation with digital media than a normal class setting. There is more scope for collaboration, peer-to-peer education and constructive feedback in a studio. </li></ul><ul><li>Successful examples of DVL modules may be readily adopted in other subjects, since using the Form, Theme and Context approach to teach DVL in art education provides a framework that’s easily transposed to other disciplines (Sandell, Renee. 2009). </li></ul>09/29/09 Travis Noakes Why trial digital literacy modules in Arts and Design departments?
  19. 19. <ul><li>Prepare a digital portfolio of one’s progress </li></ul><ul><li>- Track improvement (and be grateful it’s backed-up). </li></ul><ul><li>Experiment with digital self-expression </li></ul><ul><li>- Better understand digital affordances. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide feedback on others’ content </li></ul><ul><li>- Learn about Sturgeon’s law and the Pareto Principle first-hand. </li></ul><ul><li>- Showcase the best annual work from Bishops’ website. </li></ul><ul><li>Experience the modern, knowledge-sharing, work-environment </li></ul><ul><li>Understand web 2.0 technologies’ functions and affordances. </li></ul><ul><li>Connect with Old Boys </li></ul><ul><li>Learn from their examples; good… and bad! </li></ul><ul><li>Increased literacy in digital media </li></ul><ul><li>- Understand the benefits (and hazards) of new media early on. </li></ul>09/29/09 © Potential outcomes of a web 2.0, Digital Visual Literacy module Key functions web 2.0 supports: Flag it Tag it Share it Rate it Comment on it Subscribe to it Syndicate it Remix it Publish it Edit it
  20. 20. 09/29/09 © Pupils will learn to create online portfolios with their favoured service: i.e. or, for example. Matric and grade 11 online portfolio project
  21. 21. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes The OD See 2010 exhibition Chose Facebook initially due to: 1 At least 500 ODs are on it already 2 ODs not really a MySpace or Friendster demographic Learnt it’s: 3 Very easy to create a group 4 Cheap to advertise on 5 Must provide FAQs. <ul><li>So far: </li></ul><ul><li>26 members </li></ul><ul><li>14 links </li></ul><ul><li>6 discussion topics </li></ul><ul><li>(mostly group advice) </li></ul>
  22. 22. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes The OD See 2010 exhibition benefits from these Facebook affordances Search by name and email address (function) Connect with friends, colleagues and associates using their names (affordance) Message people irrespective of their contact details (affordance) View a friend’s friends See a person’s social network Update one’s status Share one’s activities and interests Join networks, groups, fan pages Meet like-minded people and keep abreast of events and activities Tag photos Share photos efficiently
  23. 23. <ul><li>Share coursework (function) </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook’s founder used it to share Art History course-work (affordance). </li></ul><ul><li>Add applications </li></ul><ul><li>Benefit from new affordances. </li></ul><ul><li>Easy for third parties to add new artefacts (Yazid, Idris, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Tailor information to specific social circles </li></ul><ul><li>Customise information for one’s relevant social circle (personal. network or pages). (Yazid, Idris, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Birthday notification and wall message </li></ul><ul><li>Be more pro-active in sending best wishes to friends and colleagues. </li></ul><ul><li>Define one’s location </li></ul><ul><li>Look out for friends in one’s travel destinations. </li></ul><ul><li>Customisable interface design (Yazid, Idris, 2009) </li></ul><ul><li>Customise one’s profile. </li></ul>09/29/09 Travis Noakes Some other useful Facebook affordances
  24. 24. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes Top 100 Tools for E-Learning
  25. 25. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes Available online 24/7 (function) Mobility (affordance). Free Inexpensive, easily accessible. Browser-neutral Easily accessible on W3C compliant platforms. No need for bloat-ware in cloud-computing Smaller, cheaper device as minimal hard-drive, storage space required. Easily updated Running the latest version. FAQs are current Latest product knowledge. Some affordances of free, online software
  26. 26. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes A few affordances of design software Select a file format (function) The image is represented in binary code and can easily be modified (affordance) Define the canvas size The area one works on can be easily adjusted. Select a drawing tool One’s mouse can serve as an airbrush, paintbrush, etc. Select a colour It’s easy to define the colour one wants, numerically. Set a drawing tool’s settings One’s mark-making can be easily adjusted. Make or erase a mark Any recent mark one makes is simple to remove. Export to curves The design can be saved for printers to develop proofs from.
  27. 27. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes Which educational affordances excite you the most?
  28. 28. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes Producers create functions While the production of software functionality is easily understood, the consumption of software and adoption of affordances is a complex subject. Sometimes, functionality of perceived marginal importance becomes the most important in the market: Flickr Wikipedia In these cases, the affordances’ benefit to users are more important than the value developers perceive they create with specific functions.
  29. 29. Frissen V. 1995 Gender is Calling: Some reflections on past, present and future uses of the telephone. In K. Grint and R Gill (eds), The Gender Technology Relation, London: Taylor and Francis, 79-94 Early telephone companies did not appreciate the telephone’s affordance for intimacy, instead promoted the phone as a purely functional, instrumental device. Telephone companies issued prescriptions for how to use the telephone: during the day it had to be used in an instrumental way for business or housekeeping matters , such as ordering things… Only in the evenings was “ chatting” or “visiting” by phone permitted, although this should be restricted in any case. It took these telephone companies some to realise that these marketing strategies were not an accurate reflection of what was actually being done with the phone. The Telephone’s Affordances 09/29/09 Travis Noakes
  30. 30. <ul><li>“ The Street Finds Its </li></ul><ul><li>Own Uses For Things.” </li></ul><ul><li>Gibson, William. </li></ul>09/29/09 Travis Noakes Consumers and Prosumers create Affordances The unexpected role of the consumer
  31. 31. 09/29/09 © But we need to remember, we're only at the beginning. The epics of history are long. The cultural revolution, the industrial revolution. By comparison our information age is still in its infancy: we're only at Web 2.0.
  32. 32. 09/29/09 © Visit my blog at Message me on Facebook or Twitter . Email me on [email_address] Need help; web 2.0 me :) !
  33. 33. 09/29/09 Travis Noakes