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ICT Assignments and Graded Activities

Assignment 1
Task:
Describe the affordances and constraints of email as an ICT tool for learning.
- use the four points below to guide your work.
1) Introduce the concepts of affordances and constraints; and explain briefly which
learning theories support use of ICT (based on Unit 2).
2) Identify and clearly describe at least 1 detailed example of affordances and 1 other
example of constraints within your own classroom or professional environment.
3) Recommend at least 1 possible solution that you can realistically implement to work
around the constraints that you have described in item 2.
4) Briefly describe the steps you can take to proactively implement your solutions.

In education ICT is information and communication Technologies (Mid Pacific ICT Center,
n.d.). Affordances and constraints are elements that influence ICT use in education and have
been guided by the theories of Kolb and Vygotsky.
Affordances are designed aspects of objects which tell how objects should be used Norman
(as cited in Soegaard, 2013). Affordances give instructions. According to Active Study
Dictionary (2010), constraints are things that limit an individual freedom to do what that
individual wants. Hence constraints, in this context, are barriers that would hinder the learning

process in ICT. Affordances can be in the form of pedagogical, social construction or technical.
In pedagogical affordance, different methods and ideas are used by teachers to teach students.
The teacher chooses the learning materials that would aid in supporting an understanding of what
is being taught. Using ICT tools can be useful in bringing about understanding of concepts.
Social construction affordances involved children interacting socially sharing ideas and
information so as to bring about learning. Finally, technological affordance refers to the
different ways technology supports certain things especially things that involve teaching and
learning (Putman, 2006). In the use of ICT, experience is a key factor for learning to take place.
Kolb experimental theory supports the use of ICT in learning in that Kolb posited that learning
derived from learners experience (EDTK2030 Unit 2, n.d.). Vygotskys theory also supports the
use of ICT. According to Vygotskys social development theory, social interaction is an
important aspect of learning (EDTK2030, Unit2, n.d.). In using ICT for teaching and learning,
social interaction takes place in a number of ways among individuals. Email is a means by
which social interaction take place and is an affordable that is important for learning
environments.
Email is an affordance that can be used within my professional environment. According to
Birbal and Taylor (2009), email is a way of sending and receiving of electronic messages to an
individual or group of individuals. For example using the email addresses of students in my
class assignments and feedbacks on assignments can be given to students through the use of
email. Class information that needs to be learnt can also be sent through the use of email. For
instance a student may be weak in counting. The teacher can send interesting counting videos
for students to use at home to improve counting skills. A teacher using emails to communicate
with students can facilitate positive teacher and student interactions. The checking of emails

regularly is a constraint of email use in my professional environment. Students can miss


information by not checking emails regularly. To work around this constraint information can be
communicated to individuals on a face to face basis at school and then sent to the email address
as a reminder and individuals can be frequently reminded to check email for messages sent.
Affordances and constraints are elements that influence ICT use in education and have been
guided by the theories of Kolb and Vygotsky. These theories aid in the progress of the learning
process.

Reference
Birbal, R., & Taylor, M. (2009). log on to it for csec. Harlow, England: Pearson Educational.
Pearson. (2010). longman active study dictionary.China: Pearson Educational.
EDTK2030, Unit 2. (n.d.). Learning Theories that Guide ICT-Mediated Learning.
Putman, R. (2006). Numeracy 2.0: Affordances of Technology. Retrieved from
http://www.projectlearning.org/numeracy/affordances.html
Mid-Pacific ICT Center. (n.d.). What is ICT Education and Why is it Important. Retrieved from
http://www.mpict.org/ict_education_defined_importance.htlm

Soegaard, M. (2013). Affordances The Interaction Design Foundation. Retrieved from


http://www.interaction-design-org/encyclopedia/affordances.html