Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Affording Learning

Day 2 at Summer School was based around the concept of affordances of technology.

We started by brainstorming our ideas of what technology affords the classroom environment, given two minutes to list each idea on individual sticky notes. We then needed to group the affordances into alike ideas. This process was incredibly interesting because many 'groups' formed incredibly quickly, and some were considerably large (e.g. the affordance of creativity) and others were very small (e.g. assessment). Our understandings of affordance and how we are afforded by the devices our students are exposed to were gigantic!

Cope and Kalantzis (2015) represent their ideas of what technology affords teachers and learners with the below diagram, which we pulled apart in class today. In the Manaiakalani cluster, we are familiar with many of these ideas, particularly ubiquitous learning, multimodal meaning and recursive feedback. I would like to increase my students' ability to have access to their learning anywhere, anytime this year though, by the inclusion of blogging, as well as having greater accessibility to their learning.

I believe collectively our school and cluster are en route to familiarity and confidently addressing and including the other ideas, but specifically I am interested in the affordance of metacognition. Having the critical awareness of one's thoughts and understandings, and the ability to examine one's thoughts and understandings is complex, but an incredibly useful skill. I hope I provide my students with ample opportunities to have open-minds, to think about others ideas and opinions and then be able to challenge them and their own ideas and opinions in a positive, thought-provoking way. However, I do feel students need to be offered more time to actually think about their thinking, which is where rewind-ability and reversibility of knowledge and learning may come in.

Although there are clearly multiple affordances of technology, "there is nothing inherent in technology that automatically guarantees learning" (John & Sutherland, 2005). Thus, we need to remember technology is a tool for learning, not a replacement of it.

7 principles of e-learning.png


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