Technologies for learning? : an actor-network theory critique of ‘affordances’ in research on mobile learning

Wright, Steven and Parchoma, Gale (2011) Technologies for learning? : an actor-network theory critique of ‘affordances’ in research on mobile learning. Research in Learning Technology, 19 (3). pp. 247-258. ISSN 2156-7069

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How are learners and technologies connected, and how is this connection used to position devices as ‘technologies for learning’? In mobile learning the two are inextricably linked, and the way this link is conceptualised fundamentally influences the way they are understood and researched. This literature review used both unstructured and structured search samples of published research on mobile learning to critically evaluate the prevalence and influence of the concept of affordances with mobile technologies. Actor-Network Theory (ANT) is drawn on as a theoretical lens through which to critically consider how this concept is articulated and in particular explore the similarity in contemporary accounts of mobile learning to previous discourses around the introduction of computers into schools. By considering the intersection of ANT with Communities of Practice Theory, an alternative agenda for mobile learning research is suggested with a focus on authentic and informal contexts rather than controlled experiments.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Research in Learning Technology
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? mobile learningactor-network theoryaffordances body embodiment nature outdoor recreation resistancescience, technology and medicinetechnology enhanced learningcomputer science applicationseducationl education (general)r medicine (general) ??
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Deposited On:
09 Mar 2012 02:44
Last Modified:
28 Nov 2023 11:50