LIBR559M Affordance


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For LIBR559M, social media for information professionals. Module I, January 2013

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LIBR559M Affordance

  1. 1. Getting started (January 7th – 14th, 2013)After completing Module I "Affordance", you will be able to: • Define the term affordance and apply it to different types of social media • Discuss some of the academic literature in the area of affordances • Discuss the enormous potential of social media for information organizations • List some constraints associated with typical social media tools McLuhan, (Herbert) Marshall (1911-1980) Watch YouTube video here:
  2. 2. The Canadian man of media became famous for his theories about how communicationtechnology influences society. In 1963, McLuhans analysis of the effect of movable typeon 15th-century Europe in The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Manwon him a Governor-Generals award. In 1964, he gained attention for UnderstandingMedia: The Extensions of Man in which he argued that media is an extension of thesenses and changes how societies function. Although McLuhan’s contributions to media theory are contested, there seems to be little doubt of his role in the creation of the Toronto School of Communication Theory. McLuhan was a pioneer of media studies and warned us about the negative impact of media (i.e., electronic media, television and mechanization). One wonders what McLuhan would have thought of the digital media-saturated 21st century, as oursmartphones and iPads keep us at arms length from each other, and where information can be found aplenty but where we seem isolated and so unable to manage it… ~ DeanActivities (1 file)To orient yourself to module I, complete the following: • Read about the concept of affordance as it applies to social media technologies • Select a social media platform (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and list its affordances; post your list to the discussion forum • Read an article from the affordance bibliography. What is the article about? Does it extend your understanding of affordance or not? Post your observations to the discussion forumWhat is an affordance?Affordance is a challenging concept to define. Wikipedia says that an "...affordance is aquality of an object, or an environment, that allows an individual to perform an action." "...affordances provide clues to the operation of something: knobs are forturning; slots are for inserting things into; balls are for throwing or bouncing. When
  3. 3. affordances are taken advantage of, the user knows what to do just by looking: nopicture, label, or instruction is needed." (Norman 1988, p.9) Think about this in terms of Twitter. With Twitter, you can tell other people"what you are doing"; its constraint is 140 characters. But Twitter has forever alteredthe way that people interact and share information.... It now has affordances wellbeyond its original intention and design. "Affordances are more than opportunities - they create new niches in the socialecology, which add opportunities and constraints, sometimes in surprising ways. Eachnew process and tool in a particular area of social interaction potentially interacts with,builds on, or displaces, the affordances which have been developed around previousprocesses and tools." One persons affordance is anothers mess (mindmaps) or one personsaffordance (lists) is another persons uninformative and inflexible constraint. Perhapsthe latter is what agendas are meant to be: its what agendas are for? If you arepredominantly a linear and sequential thinker, a mindmap is not in any way anaffordance. And vice versa: i.e, some artefacts are amenable to being engaged with indifferent ways, to create different affordances for different people. But some artefactsare only amenable to engagement for some people and not or others.The Learning Affordances Wiki discusses six key points about affordances, and each hasthe potential to help you explore the affordances of any social media technology.1. Positive and Negative - Affordances can be useful or a hindrance2. Fit for Context - Affordances have to be fit for purpose - be aware that it may notwork everywhere.3. Changing Contexts - Because affordances do not transfer to each context, the learnermust create and develop new affordances, to develop the ability to match a particularaffordance to the context.4. Ontologies - Affordance is relational, an adaptation – its part of a complex adaptiveecology.5. Perception - Affordances are inseparable from perception. We perceive affordancesrather than objects.6. Ethics and Power - Because affordances also a way of taking up a position, they alsoendorse, challenge, undermine, confirm particular discourses - it means taking up a
  4. 4. position within (or against) a social ecology.7. Mastery - As a professional, there must be an ability to discriminate betweencontexts, which means being embedded in ones micro-culture and community as wellas ones individual identity.Blogging & its affordances / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 "Why I Blog" Andrew Sullivan in the Atlantic "Keep up with the literacies [of media] ... not the technologies" ~ Rheingold, 2008 "Learning the different rhetorics of blogging by practicing them in public, andcommenting on one another’s posts can give students a literacy regarding blogging that they would not have gained by simply reading or hearing about it." ~ Howard Rheingold, Social Media CollaboratoryDefinition of affordance "Affordance allows us to look at something and intuitively understand how to interact with it" Link-Rodrigue, 2009To study technology from an affordance angle, it needs to be defined and examined…
  5. 5. • "The term “affordance” is attributed to the psychologist JJ Gibson who used it as a part of his ecological theory of human perception. The term is widely-used in a range of fields such as cognitive psychology, industrial design, human-computer interaction (HCI) and interface design. An affordance is an action that individuals perform in their environment by using a particular tool. In other words, an affordance is a “can do” statement that is not necessarily pre-defined by a particular functionality; it may refer to an application that enables the user to undertake a task. For example, telephones allow the placing and receiving of calls, which in isolation are not affordances, but which enable communication and information exchange." Lee & McLoughlin, 2008 • What is an affordance? " affordance provides clues to the operation of something. ie., knobs are for turning; slots are for inserting things into. Balls are for throwing or bouncing. When affordances are taken advantage of, users know what to do just by looking: no picture, label, or instruction needed." ~ Norman, 1988 • Think about affordance vis a vis Twitter. On Twitter, you tell people "what you are doing" but its constraint is your message must be less than 140 characters. Every affordance has a corresponding constraint. Twitter has forever altered how people interact and share information. One of its affordances is easy broadcasting to larger numbers of people in a network. And, now it has affordances beyond its original intent and design. Watch this very short YouTube video below on about affordances in online learning. Are the few examples the instructor shares with his class instructive for us? How can we apply the notion of affordances to our own learning in Blackboard Connect? YouTube video: “Designing Online Learning: Affordances” social mediaIn a relatively short period of time, social media has become so central to the web andhow we communicate in the world that its hard to imagine our lives without thesetools. In the information professions, the term social media has superceded socialsoftware. Social media is now used almost exclusively and terms such as archives 2.0 orlibrary 2.0 are slowly going the way of the do-do bird (going extinct, that is). However,these terms are still used by some.Recently, social media has surged in popularity, and videos such as YouTube now getmillions of hits a day. Facebook and Twitter are now part of the mainstream discourse.Because they bring people together for sharing, social media has potential to help us dointeresting things in archives, libraries and museums. The use of social media representsa paradigm shift in how people discover, read and digest information. The tools fuse theweb content with our social needs, and transform our interactions (one to one; one to
  6. 6. many) into socially-dynamic sharing opportunities (many to many). Networking is amajor reason for these social medias popularity. Ideas associated with social mediainclude democratization of information, globalization and decentralizing the means ofproduction.The YouTube video below is a good example of extending the affordances of a book. Byadding social features to a static, analog environment, what is added to the reading ofthe text? Are hybrid social technologies beneficial to readers? What are the implicationsof this new technology in terms of the traditional lending practices in libraries? Does thistrend excite you in some way, or make you wary? Perhaps a combination of the two? Ifyou are excited by e-environments, share your insights in the discussion area.Watch YouTube video here: ”Marginalia : The Hybrid Textbook” (read one article or chapter…Then, tell us about it in the discussion areas) " media have become crucial to the exercise of freedom of expression" ~ NMC, 2012 • Chemero A. An outline theory of affordances. Ecological Psychology. 2003;15(2):181–195. • Cochrane T, Bateman R. Smartphones give you wings: pedagogical affordances of mobile web 2.0. Aus J Ed Tech. 2010;26(1):1-14. • Conole G, Dyke M. What are the affordances of information and communication technologies. ALT-J Research in Learning Technology. 2004;12(2):113–124. • Dalgarno B, Lee MJW. What are the learning affordances of 3-D virtual environments? Brit J Ed Tech. 2010;41(1):10-32. • Deng L, Yuen AHK. Towards a framework for educational affordances of blogs. Comp Ed 2011;56(2):441-451. • Dickey MD. The pragmatics of virtual worlds for K-12 educators: investigating the affordances and constraints of ActiveWorlds and SecondLife with K-12 in-service teachers. 2011;59(1): 1-20. • Gamage V, Tretiakov A, Crump B. Teacher perceptions of learning affordances of multi-user virtual environments. CompEd. 2011;57(4):2406-2413.
  7. 7. • Gaver W. Situating action II: affordances for interaction: the social is material for design. Ecological Psych. 1996;8(2):111–129.• Graves L. The affordances of blogging: a case study in culture and technological effects. J Communication Inquiry. 2007;31(4):331-346.• Greeno J. Gibson’s affordances. Psych Rev. 1994;101(2):336–342.• Halpern D, Gibbs J. Social media as a catalyst for online deliberation? Exploring the affordances of Facebook and YouTube for political expression. Comp Human Behav. 2012.• Hsieh U. Online social networking skills: the social affordances approach to digital inequality. First Monday. 2012;17:4.• Hutchby I. Technologies, texts and affordances. Sociology. 2001;35:441–456.• John P, Sutherland R. Affordance, opportunity and the pedagogical implications of ICT. Ed Rev. 2005;57(4):405–423.• Kennewell S. Using affordances and constraints to evaluate the use of information and communications technology in teaching and learning. J Info Tech Teacher Ed. 2001;10(1&2):101–116.• Laurillard D, et al. Affordances for learning in a non-linear narrative medium. J Interactive Media in Ed. 2000.2.• Lloyd A. No man (or woman) is an island: information literacy, affordances and communities of practice. Australian Library Journal. 2005;54(3):230.• McGrenere J. Affordances: clarifying and evolving a concept. Proceedings of Graphic Interface. 2000:179–186.• McLuhan M. The place of Thomas Nashe in the learning of his time. Unpublished dissertation, University of Cambridge, 1943.• McLuhan M. The mechanical bride. Vanguard Press, NY, 1951.• McLuhan M. The Gutenberg galaxy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962.• McLuhan M. Understanding media. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964.• McLuhan M. The medium is the massage: an inventory of effects. 1967• Neff G, et al. Affordances, technical agency, and the politics of technologies of cultural production. J Broadcast Electronic Media. 2012;56(2):299-313.• Norman DA. The design of everyday things. New York, Doubleday; 2002.• Norman D. The psychology of everyday things. New York: Basic Books, 2002.• Robertson J. The educational affordances of blogs for self-directed learning. Comp Ed. 2011;57(2):1628-1644.• Sadler E, Given L. Affordance theory: a framework for graduate students information behavior. J Document. 2007;63(1):115-141.• Owston RD. Computer games and the quest to find their affordances for learning. Ed Res. 2013;41(3):105-106.• Rama PS et al. Affordances for second language learning in World of Warcraft. ReCALL. 2012;24(03):322-338.• Reid F, Reid D. The expressive and conversational affordances of mobile messaging. Behaviour & Information Technology, 2010;29(1):3-22.• Scarantino A. Affordance explained. Phil Sci. 2003;70:949–961.
  8. 8. • Seet B, Goh T. Exploring the affordance and acceptance of an e-reader device as a collaborative learning system. Electronic Library. 2012;30(4):516-542. • Sen-Roy M. The social life of digital reference: what the technology affords. The Reference Librarian. 2004;41(85): 127-137. • Treem J, Leonardi P. Social media use in organizations: exploring the affordances of visibility, editability, persistence, and association. Communication Yearbook. 2012;36:143-189. • Turvey M. Affordances and prospective control: an outline of the ontology. Ecol Psych. 1992;4(3):173–187.Affordances of blogs: • Blogs enable you to publish your ideas anywhere, anytime and at little or no cost • Blogging is a form of participatory journalism and facilitates involvement • Writing on a blog is straightforward for anyone with limited web skills • Blogs provide a space for reflection and learning; over time, identity and brand • Blogs are organized by topic, tags and date and can be syndicated • Individual blogs are linked to other blogs which can constitute communities • Everything on a blog is archived with record of discussions and debate • Blog platforms allow others to reply to posts, hyperlink to their own updated entries and create an ecosystem of information • Friends, parents and other students can see blog entries from anywhere and comment, edit or add to conversation • Blogs can be continued indefinitely; does not need readers or advertising
  9. 9. • Bloggers can upload photos and get to know other bloggers giving a feeling of being connected