Pedagogical Affordance ICT and Education 'Literature Review' chapter

Excerpt from 'Literature Review' chapter :

This perspective suggests the necessity of distinguishing between the intended use (and real affordances) of an object and its perceived affordances. For instance, affordances presented by a knife are defined by the individual who uses it, not necessarily by its designer. More specifically, although a designer envisaged the knife as a cutting tool, the user might not utilize the knife for cutting. While Gibson (1979) suggests that the knife does not have any affordance on its own, except when an individual has attributed a meaning to it, Norman suggests that the designer's real or intended affordance for the knife was for cutting purposes. Although there are debates in the field of ecological psychology about the nature of affordances (distinction and overlays between intended and perceived affordances), affordance perspectives are a crucial area in the study of usability (Sadler & Given, 2007).

3. Pedagogical Affordance and ICT

Peter and Rosamund (2005) described pedagogical affordance of ICT as the technological tools and ICT can be used to enhance learning. They were of the view that now a days the introduction digital tools in the classroom setting has enhanced classroom learning. Similarly Marry (2005) conducted a study on the possibility of affordances of ICT-rich environments as how they can contribute and support the students to learn science under a suggested framework for a pedagogical practice science learning. Marry (2005) identified four major effects of affordances including promotion of the cognitive hastening; facilitation of a wide variety of experience such that students can easily relate the experiences of science with their real world; an increase in self-management by facilitating them in gathering data and presenting it. The researcher concluded that pedagogical affordances have helped the students in facilitating the science learning yet there is a possibility of much enhances learning experiences for science students if these affordances are integrated with other pedagogical innovations. (Marry, 2005)

Mathiasen (2004) proposed that from a pedagogical perspective, the question of whether teaching is enriched when all students have a laptop computer is debatable. One teacher observed that because of the presence of the laptops "teaching the subject takes at least twice the time" (p. 284). Data examining communication content showed that study related subjects were not a major part of the total number of emails sent between students, and this applied to all three years. Mathiasen noted, "Differentiation [reform, transformation] of teaching occurs only to a limited extent" (p. 290). The grades of students in the four laptop-classes that passed their graduation exams demonstrated that their grade averages corresponded to the national average. Thus, the political system's expectations regarding the goal of educational change in teaching and learning through ICT were not reflected in significantly higher grades. Teachers still preferred physical interaction as a mode of teaching. Likewise, students expressed a preference for teaching based on interaction. For the most part, laptop-based teaching corresponded to the traditional way of delivering instruction. Mathiasen (2004) concluded that the educational system, learning environments, and teacher training needed rethinking because of the beliefs and attitudes expressed by students and teachers.

Implementation is the stage of the Innovation-Decision Process in which an individual, or members of a particular group, have decided to adopt an innovation work to make it an effective part of their routine or practice (Rogers, 2003). Once they have decided to adopt an innovation, adopters make on-going decisions about whether they will continue or discontinue use of the innovation. Implementation can take place at two levels: the individual level, in a teacher's classroom; and the group level, cohorts of specific teachers by grade or content area, and the cohort of all teachers in a school or district. The questions specific to this domain are: 1) in what ways do teachers work to make ICT part of their teaching? And, 2) what factors encourage continuance or discontinuance?

In a survey-based study of teachers and students at an independent English Secondary School (private, girls-only) with significant commitment to ICT, O'Mahony (2003) investigated the interrelationship of three areas pertinent to ICT implementation: access, staff ability -- perceived and desired -- and use. Access to ICT resources at the school was high, but most teachers used these resources infrequently. Teachers perceived the level of ICT training as low, criticizing the lack of time available for training.

O'Mahony (2003) framed the study in terms of action research: the school administration needed to know why teachers' under-utilized ICT (a form of rejection) resources and then, how the administration might rectify the situation. A six-point model of effective ICT use provided criteria for the study components of which included: ICT resources, policy, executive ICT commitment, professional development, evaluation of ICT use, and student ICT skills. The ultimate aim of employing this model, in particular the professional development program for staff in ICT, was to improve the overall technology skills of the teaching staff in order to improve student learning.

Data from surveys showed that a major challenge facing the school was not access to ICT resources, but the provision of relevant and supportive training for staff to support implementation. Statistical data derived from the surveys indicated that teachers used ICT resources available to them. However, teachers used the technology resources for administrative and planning tasks rather than instructional activities with students, as observed in the previous section about decisions. The statistical data also suggested the teachers were moderately competent with ICT. The main obstacles to increased ICT use for pedagogy were: "a lack of time, a lack of training, and a lack of ICT resources in the classroom" (p. 308). In conclusion, O'Mahony (2003) underscored the need for practical and responsive training programs in computer applications (e.g., presentation, web design, and using digital whiteboards), positive home-school network links, and more defined ICT planning in order to improve ICT implementation. Training programs, also known as professional development, provide opportunities to negotiate perceived characteristics of an innovation. In ICT training programs, teachers (adopters) encounter opportunities to reduce complexity of ICT resources while learning to implement them in the education context. In addition, they try out the resources (trial ability) and communicate with peers about use of ICT (observability). Engaging in these activities helps teachers understand compatibility and relative advantages inherent in implementing ICT.

4. Pedagogical affordance of Electronic Brain-Storming

Brainstorming or group idea generation through verbal interaction was introduced with the notion that it would be a more effective method of generating ideas compared to the nominal group technique (individual working alone). Group members in brainstorming sessions were encouraged to generate as many ideas as possible without regard for quality. Participants articulated the ideas that came to mind and were instructed not to criticize or evaluate as presented to them. Also, group members were persuaded to build on the ideas of others. Yet electronic brainstorming is a technique where computerized software are used to generate idea.

In the brainstorming individual or group the individuals have usually less time to think as there are time constraints. Also in the group brainstorming the individuals do not take much interest because of fear of evaluation and criticism yet in EBS individuals are independent in generating and presenting ideas. In education EBS is being used such as students use e-libraries to gather data for their assignments. There are many soft wares like engineering or other soft wares. (Nicolas, 2004)

Technological innovations, whether the invention of the printing presses in the fifteenth century or the latest information technology, act as a powerful driver for the development of education. The Course Management System (CMS) is one of those new information technologies that promise to dramatically change the conception of education. In spite of a short history, CMS has already played a critical role in higher education's technology infrastructure. Many institutes of higher education have adopted CMSs and other information technologies to supplement traditional face-to-face instruction and to provide distance learning (Bickelmeyer & Molenda, 2006; Greene, 2001; Pollack, 2003; Powell, 2006).

Darleen, Carter, Smith and Donald conducted a meta analysis of examining the effect of electronic media communication on the idea generation of groups. The purpose of this study was to compare the traditional brainstorming groups with electronic brainstorming groups. The study concluded that the groups which used EBS were more creative and productive as compared FTF groups. The authors suggested that electronic brainstorming can be effective if implied in the academic and institutional setting.


American Library Association 2006. Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Retrieved on December 27, 2011, from

American Library Association 2007. Intro to Info Lit. Retrieved on December 27, 2011, from

Barrett, A. 2005. The Information-Seeking Habits of Graduate Student Researchers in the Humanities. Journal of academic librarianship, 31(4), 324-331.

Beile O'Neil, P.M. 2005. Development and validation of the Beile Test of Information Literacy for Education (B-TILED). Doctoral dissertation, University of Central Florida, Florida, United States. Retrieved December 27, 2011, from ProQuest Digital Dissertations database. (Publication No. AAT 3193465).

Cannon, T.H. 2007 Closing the digital divide: An assessment of urban graduate teacher education students' knowledge of information…

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