Thursday, November 10, 2011

Be Patient With Technology

We recently heard Elliott Masie speak at his conference.  Over and over he hammered the concept of affordances.  

Masie states, "The word 'affordance' does not refer to the cost of technology; rather it means the additional or changed capability that a technology offers for learning. For example, voice recognition technology is getting better by the year and was just announced as part of the iPhone 4S. But what affordances, or learning capabilities, might it provide for each of these groups."

He went on to say that typically it takes 2-to-3 years before these affordances are realized.  Think about the iPad, for instance.  Released in January 2010, people are now just starting to realize the "affordances" that is offers for learning capabilities.  

The essential point we all need to realize is that we have amazing tools that are introduced all of the time. But the secret is to uncover the affordances for your learners. In other words, what can the technology enable us to do better. Keep this in mind as you move forward with new initiatives like mobile and social learning. And remember, sometimes technology takes time to reveal its true worth. So be patient.

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