Editor’s Note: Web 2.0 tools, when used by informed teachers, offer enhanced learning opportunities. In choosing a technological tool for teaching or learning, it is essential to find the match between technological capabilities and the required tasks. This study provides detailed research evidence to support the value of interactive communication tools including the audio blog. It is well worth the time to study the evidence presented in this paper.
Affordances Analysis of an Audioblog and Suggestions for its Recruitment and Use in Oral Lessons
Web 2.0 is a buzzword not only in the technological world, but also in the educational industry. The plethora of Web 2.0 tools presents affordances that have great potentials to be effectively used in the educational settings. While the options are abundant, appropriating Web 2.0 applications in learning and teaching requires informed decision for meaningful experiences. In order to achieve this, it is imperative that a thorough affordances analysis of the tool is performed so as to determine its potential for purposeful utilisation. This paper expounds the possible recruitment of an online audioblog tool, Podomatic, in oral lessons. It discusses three aspects of the affordances namely (i) pedagogy, (ii) social, and (iii) technology. Following that, it offers suggestions for (i) tackling issues that teachers and students faced, and (ii) for enhanced learning opportunities.
Keywords: information and communication technology (ICT) affordances analysis model; oral learning and teaching; English language; enhanced learning; Podomatic; web 2.0; podcast; blog
The Partnership for 21st Century skills (2004) framework identified communication skill as one of the necessary skill students should acquire to succeed in work and life in the 21st century. It is paramount that students are able to articulate their intentions for the various purposes via verbal and non-verbal communication modes. In Singapore schools, oral lessons and examinations have been in place for a long time to prepare students to be effective and confident communicators (Ministry of Education, 2008). This is reiterated by the ministry (Ministry of Education, 2010) where she outlines one of the competencies of 21st century as being able to communicate ideas clearly and effectively. Interestingly, with the evolution of digital technology, changing profiles of learners and globalisation of the language, the previous English language curriculum has been revised to meet current needs and trends. In the English Language Syllabus 2010 (Ministry of Education, 2008), English language curriculum, which includes communication skills (oral and representing), will be enriched through the uses of a variety of print and non-print resources. These non-print resources include Web 2.0 tools and resources such as blogs, wikis and other multimedia resources for teaching and learning activities.
With vast emerging technology such as Web 2.0 tools, many new innovative ways can be examined to enhance the teaching and learning of oral skill. Although there is a common conviction that these tools present affordances that may be appropriated into a wide range of teaching strategies and learning activities, the utilisation of the tool has to be informed for purposeful deployment. Without proper investigations on the suitability of technological tools for specific educational purposes, the uses may possibly introduce pedagogical and technical issues, which become barriers instead of enhancing lessons. A case in point, which is also the anchor case of this paper, is illustrated in the section below.
In preparing students for oral exam, English teachers in a local secondary school (secondary two cohorts) developed learning tasks, which utilised podcast technology. As part of the oral lessons, students were given and explained on the oral assessment rubrics. They were tasked to record their oral presentations (from a given passage) and self-evaluate the recordings (by playing back) based on the assessment rubrics provided by teachers. Students used a non web-based software to create their podcasts. Prior to these lessons, the resident technology trainer conducted a training session on the use of the software. The recording (re-recordings) and self-evaluations were iterative processes until students were satisfied with the quality of their oral presentation. They then sent the final podcast file to their respective teachers via e-mail.
In class, teachers selected and played several podcasts (with contrasting qualities). They discussed with the whole class on these podcasts, also based on the rubrics. Students were engaged and participative in giving feedbacks and critics. At the end of the lesson, teachers summed up their discussions.
During a debrief session, teachers lamented that they faced technical issues with regards to the e-mailed podcasts. Some could not be played back or contained undetermined errors. Further, they shared that due to time constraint during curriculum time, they were not able to discuss more podcasts in class. Additionally, on the remaining podcasts, they found it challenging to have to listen and provide comments or feedback via separate platforms. Some students faced difficulties in producing the podcasts because of the technicalities involved. Collectively, teachers sought alternatives to address these issues and exploring other technological tool was a major part of it.
This paper hence describes a proposed alternative technological tool, in this case Podomatic, to be used in the teaching and learning of oral skill as to address the aforementioned issues and to enhance learning. A literature review is done to shed insights on similar studies relating to the uses of audioblog to inform and guide this proposal. The subsequent section expounds detailed analysis of Podomatic's affordances based on the information communication technology (ICT) affordance analysis model as prescribed by Wang, Woo and Chai (2010). The purpose is to determine if Podomatic is the legit alternative tool. This is followed with suggestions on possible uses of Podomatic in oral lessons. Then it culminates with a conclusion.
Review of Literature
Consistent with Tan, Ow, and Tan (2006) study, a review of the literature reveals that studies on audioblogging in educational context are scarce. Although numerous researches have been conducted on the uses of Web 2.0 tools such as blog, podcast and wiki (Lucking, Christmann, & Wighting, 2009; Siegle, 2007; Seitzinger, 2006) these usually expounded on the utilisation of a single tool— either a blog or podcast platform, but not a combination of both tools. Essentially, audioblog is an extension of blog platform (Tan, Ow, & Tan, 2006). Building on the architecture of blog, audioblog inherits key features of a blog such as: (i) ease of posting, (ii) reverse chronological order of information, and (iii) automatic archival of postings (Huann & Thong, 2006). Harris (2006) describes audioblog as a blogging platform where podcast links are posted. Similarly, Cebeci and Tekdal (2006) inform that in audioblog, podcast files are posted to blogging platform to capitalise the RSS feeding. In a nutshell, audioblog is a platform that offers text and audio postings.
Literature on the uses of audioblog in education centred on language learning with few other studies related to cognitive load and for education purposes in general. In language learning, teachers utilised audioblog for a variety of reasons. These include for teaching and learning improvement (Tan, Ow, & Tan, 2006), increase students' speaking and listening abilities (Hsu, Wang, & Comac, 2008) and as an extra opportunities for practice and informal exploratory experiences (Sun, 2009). These uses of audioblog in language learning was grounded in Vygotskian theory of social meaning making where larger community of students interact and communicate to make meaning (Tan, Ow, & Tan, 2006; Huann & Thong, 2006). This was possible due to the highly accessibility nature of audioblog to vast Internet users (Hsu, Wang, & Comac, 2008; Huann & Thong, 2006).
Tan, Ow, and Tan (2006) investigate the uses of audioblog to support oral communication skills in Chinese language. The study employed activity theory as the design framework involved students from elementary school. Students were made to familiarise with the oral assessment rubrics. They then read and recorded passages. The recordings or podcasts were uploaded onto blogs where others listened and commented upon. Students learnt from others via the comments and from listening to mistakes that other students did. Weaker students were able to acquire 'formulaic expression' (p. 19) from stronger students.
The study by Hsu, Wang, and Comac (2008) focus on students' perception pertaining to the use of audioblog in English language learning. These were international students who had enrolled in the Advanced English Conversation course. In this study, teacher and students used Evoca to record their podcasts and then linked them to the appropriate blog. Teacher recorded assignment instructions and posted to her blog. Students responded to the assignment either in oral or written format. These include comprehension and pronunciation assignments. All students’ audioblog sites were linked to teacher's site. The findings show that students were generally motivated and enjoyed learning with audioblog.
Sun (2009) explores the uses of audioblog in English language learning for Taiwanese college students. Audioblog was introduced as an add-on platform for extra practice opportunities. In this case, only one audioblog site was used. Students have their own space via the site. Because the purpose of using audioblog was to provide practice opportunities for improving oral skill, students were given autonomy to talk on any topic of their choice. Apart from peers and teacher, the audioblog was also opened to public so that anyone can listen and post comments. The study identified the stages that emerged in the audioblogging processes. These are (i) conceptualising, (ii) brainstorming, (iii) articulation, (iv) monitoring and, (v) evaluating.
Other studies on audioblog focused on cognitive load and education in general. Tan and Detenber (2006) examine the application of Limited Capacity Model on individual's attention and memory when presented with dynamic audioblog (where the voice and other elements such as images changed dynamically). They found that there were no cognitive overloads when voice was presented with images — which meant there was no memory decrement.
In a different study, Kolb (2006) proposes the use of cellphones for audioblogging. According to Kolb, being an integral part of students' lives, cellphones have great potentials to be transformed from a social to an educational tool. Using their cellphones, students will able to record interviews, sounds, commentaries and directly post their podcasts onto audioblogs via online tool such as Gabcast. These resources can be used later to construct meaningful projects. Kolb also warns of the possible issues in audioblogging activities such as privacy, copyright, cost and control issues and suggests some ways to address these issues.
Teachers reported that the automatic archival of posts made tracking of students' progress easier. They were able to evaluate and provide timely, personalised comments that addressed individual’s needs (Sun, 2009; Hsu, Wang, & Comac, 2008; Huann & Thong, 2006). With this, students need not compete for teachers’ attention. In fact majority of them were satisfied with their interactions with teachers (Hsu, Wang, & Comac, 2008). Additionally audioblog's ability to support various types of media opened up many new opportunities for teachers to design their lessons. Audioblog itself presented teachers with options to provide either auditory or textual comments. Other features such as hyperlinks, insert media and attachment feature allowed teachers to post new assignments, broadcast news to students and provide links to other sites relevant to the subject (Sun, 2009; Hsu, Wang, & Comac, 2008). Teachers also made use of the comment features to scaffold students' learning (Tan, Ow, & Tan, 2006; Huann & Thong, 2006).
Students were found to be motivated with the use of audioblog (Hsu, Wang, & Comac, 2008; Huann & Thong, 2006). There are many attributing factors to this motivation. From technical perspective, audioblog is easy to use. Students did not need to grapple with the technicalities that have the propensity to increase extraneous cognitive load (Hsu, Wang, & Comac, 2008). From learning and personal identity perspectives, audioblog offer personal individualised space, which directly increased their sense of ownership (Sun, 2009; Hsu, Wang, & Comac, 2008; Huann & Thong, 2006). With real audience, students were encouraged to produce quality work (Sun, 2009). They were also reported to be even motivated when they received positive comments from peers and teachers (Huann & Thong, 2006). The asynchronous nature of audioblog permitted students to deliberate before posting comments. They also used this feature to post reflections of their work and comments by others (Sun, 2009, Tan, Ow, & Tan, 2006). Additionally Tan, Ow, and Tan (2006) state that this internalisation of thought promotes meaning making.
Overall reports on the uses of audioblog in educational context are positive. The collaboration and meaning making processes through audioblogging activities have shown evidences of students' improvement in language learning. Hsu, Wang, and Comac (2009) inform that students’ pronunciations and listening skills have improved since the use of audioblog. In another study by Tan, Ow, and Tan (2006), students were reported to gained confidence, read louder and felt natural (p. 20).
However it is equally important to note the issues reported in using audioblog. As Sun (2009) points out, over time the excitement of audioblog grew weaker and students were less engaged. Additionally, she highlights that having a big class size will be a challenge in managing audioblog activities. Copyright, plagiarism and other technical issues may also surface (Huann & Thong, 2006). Knowing these will help in the planning to use audioblog so as to circumvent such issues.
The cases above revealed that teaching and learning activities in oral lessons were enhanced with the use of audioblog. These were possible because the affordances of audioblog matched with the pedagogical needs and learning tasks. Hence for effective and meaningful use of technology in teaching and learning, it is essential to analyse the technology affordances as a determinant if its engagement would support the activities required to complete the tasks and achieve the goals. Although the above cases demonstrated the various utilisations of the differing features, a thorough affordances analysis of audioblog may elicit other unrealised affordances that could further enhance teaching and learning of oral skill. In the same vein, this would also elicit any potential extraneous cognitive load (Pass, Renkl, & Sweller, 2003) related with the use of technology that would otherwise serve as barrier in students' learning processes. One way of achieving this is via the employment of information and communication technology (ICT) affordances analysis model (Wang, Woo, & Chai, 2010).
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Affordances Analysis Model
The information and communication technology (ICT) affordances model as explained by Wang, Woo, and Chai (2010) is a technology analysis model which analyses ICT tools or software from three aspects namely (i) pedagogy, (ii) social, and (iii) technology. These are elaborated in the paragraphs below.
These relate to affordances that support the implementation of various pedagogical approaches (p. 73). It has dual applicability—for teaching and learning purposes. From teaching perspectives, pedagogical affordances of technological tools enable teachers to deliver lessons in many effective ways that engage students based on the appropriate strategy that teachers have chosen. These are either teacher-centred such as incorporating animations in powerpoint presentations to augment a certain concept or student-centred approaches by asking students to use blogs for self-reflection. Teachers can then read the reflections and provide individualised comments. In adopting Gagne's nine events of instruction, many tools can be employed such as flash animation to gain attention, podcast or Youtube videos to deliver lesson in multiple modes and online chatrooms for personalised feedback and real-time discussions. Additionally these tools include features that enable teachers to track learners’ progress, scaffold and assess learners’ performance.
On the other hand, from students' learning perspective, the tools should support the designed learning activities that they are required to perform in any group dynamics. In collaborative pedagogical strategies, for example knowledge co-construction activities, students can use WIKI where they are able to share, negotiate and co-construct information. For individual activity, as gleaned in the aforementioned literature review, students can utilise Blog to post journals on their reflections and understanding on any particular subjects.
Social affordance attained its disposition from the natural ways of human communications where interaction forms a crucial part of living. Hence this affordance relates to affordances that support a variety of interactions and their dynamics. These include peer-to-peer, students and teachers and also assortments of interaction dynamics such as group or individual work. With reduced social context cues such as facial expression and body gestures, the technological tool must provide provisions where participants are able to project themselves as 'real' people through these mediums that engender safe and comfortable environment for social interaction. This is to improve rapport and encourage participations. Additionally, in encouraging participations, social affordance should cater to both synchronous and asynchronous modes of communications such as chatrooms, e-mails, discussion board and Skype. The plethora of these tools not only provides students with options to choose that suit their learning styles, but also augments specific interactions. For instance, Skype enables users to simultaneously talk, type and see the other participants. Discussion boards on the other hand are well suited for asynchronous discussion and information sharing activities.
These are affordances associated with the usability of the technological tool in accomplishing tasks efficiently and effectively. With the advancing technology, many new tools are developed for purposes of educational and non-educational specifics. It is crucial then to analyse these affordances so as not to misappropriate the utilisation of these tools thus making them futile. Essentially, the utilities that technological tools offer centred on the ease of use for learning. They have to be user friendly and intuitive so that users can easily navigate through the tool to perform the required tasks. Besides these, preferably, the interface look and feel should be attractive to motivate students to experiment and use them. It is also desirable if the tools are customizable to fit users’ differing needs and personalities. For example the colour of the interface can be changed and ability to manipulate resources such as options to choose and rearrange widgets to be displayed. In addition, the tool should be easily available and access. Typically in wireless broadband classrooms, web-based tools should be easily accessible to be used in teaching or learning.
Amongst the three affordances, pedagogical and social affordances analysis focus on the educational worth of the tool while technological affordances determines the potential of the tool in materialising and actualising the educational intent. The negotiation of these three affordances determines the suitability of the technological tool to be employed in teaching and learning.
Affordances Analysis of Podomatics
As Podomatic is the proposed central technological tool to be engaged in the English oral lessons, besides already being informed of the affordance appropriations of audioblog through the preceding literature review, application of the affordances analysis model could potentially draw out affordances that have yet to be utilised and further determine if the consideration of Podomatic in supporting oral lessons is legitimate. Its valid affordances then not only could be capitalised in addressing the issues as described in the introduction section but also poised in harbouring many possibilities to support and enhance the pedagogy and learning activities.
Brief overview of Podomatic
Podomatic is an online audioblog that has blog and podcast features combined in a single platform. Though the blogging features are limited as opposed to full-fledged blog platform, the main components such as text posting (with rich text editor), comment box, reverse chronological ordering of postings and posting archives are indubitable in place. Some of the core podcast features are online recording and automatic hosting. With blog and podcast features combined in a single platform, Podomatic eliminates the propensity of having to use a separate platform/tool to record podcasts. Other features of Podomatic include e-mail, friend invitations, downloading of podcast as mp3 file and RSS feeds.
Podomatic supports a variety of pedagogical strategies such as case-based, anchored instruction, as well as co-operative learning. Teachers can use the post feature to post podcasts resources on particular cases or as information resources for cognitive construction. They have the options of recording their voices or upload ready audio files. In anchored instruction cases, a podcast and supporting textual information could be used as anchors for all subsequent learning and instructions. The recording feature presents opportunities for students to engage in a variety of activities such as doing oral self-reflection and practicing oral speeches. Besides audio recording, Podomatic allows video recording whereby teachers are able to employ as a mode of lesson delivery. To augment oral presentation, students can tap on this feature to video-record their presentations—permitting them to also see their facial and body expressions while presenting.
The rich text editor utility, which is part of the posting feature, further potentiates teaching and learning activities. Examples of such uses are: (i) posting of instructions and other resources (multiple modes) by teachers, and (ii) as a platform for students to rationalize and explain their actions (decisions) in the course of their activities. The reifying of thoughts into textual or oral format not only help students to internalise and negotiate meaning making but also made possible for teachers to identify any misconceptions and provide timely intervention. The reverse chronological ordering of postings enables teachers to track and monitor students' development processes.
The comment feature further allows teachers to provide timely and personalised feedback where necessary. Peers can also use this feature to provide comments, suggestions or advices. The asynchronous nature of Podomatic permits students to deliberate and organise their thoughts before responding. These activities promote co-operative learning. Teachers will have more time (out of classroom time) to provide individualised feedback. With personalised feedbacks, students are able assimilate the information and manifest their understanding through deliberations of these information in their iteration of re-recording process.
Finally, the timeline bar (see Figure 1) that is made avail via the player while playing back a podcast made it possible for teachers and peers to pinpoint directly to specific sections of podcast that they commented upon. By specifying the exact position in the podcast, learners can later quickly refer to these sections without having to scan through the entire podcast to look for the particular sections. This potentially reduces the extraneous cognitive load and increases germane cognitive load.
Figure 1. Screenshot of the Podomatic's player
Podomatic presents numerous ways to support social interactions. Although it is a private cyber space, Podomatic provides a variety of communication modes such as personal e-mail, public wall postings and also via the comment feature. These have great potential in fostering social interaction for an array of purposes that suit the tasks and participants' preferences. It offers a range of avenues for students to communicate with others namely video, oral or textual postings for others to watch, listen or read and hence respond. With the significant reduction in social context cues such as facial expression and body gestures, the availability to insert emoticons via the text editor becomes necessary in representing moods and feelings.
Podomatic provides a safe learning environment for students to work within. It requires users to log into the system in order to post messages to others. Hence unwanted posts from anonymous or unknown users are significantly reduced to almost nil; if not nil. The comment feature also permits students to withhold comments from being automatically published before being vetted. In addition to these, users are able to draft and modify postings before and after publishing. It gives them time to think, amend and improve on the postings suitable to their audiences or for other specific purposes. This provides an environment that is safe and comfortable for students to participate in learning activities.
The multiple communication channels extend the opportunities for social interactions according to users’ needs, intentions and requirements. For instance, on the one hand, students’ make use of the wall posting to broadcast a message not only to specific peer, but also meant for others to read as well. On the other hand, they may choose to use the e-mail feature to communicate with specific individual or group of people.
Podomatic’s utilities support group work congeniality that has the potential to foster group dynamics cohesiveness. Every student can invite or request invitation to be ‘friend’ of another users. Once they are friends, their profile image will appear in their friends’ lists. Besides being able to portray themselves as ‘real’ people, this visual representation also enables users to quickly identify their friends and start interacting.
Essentially the main advantage of Podomatic is the combined features of podcast and blogging. This significantly made it easy to use Podomatic for a wide spectrum of purposes. The easy and straightforward podcast utilities considerably reduced extraneous cognitive load associated with the technicalities of the tool. This ease of use serves as a great motivation for students to start using the tool. Since it is web-based, it is conveniently accessible (as long as there is Internet connection) and do not require any complicated installation procedures. Students only require signing up using a valid e-mail account—a quick and relatively effortless procedure.
Further, Podomatic allows several interface and utility customisations. Students can choose any backdrop image from a list of available options. They are also able to decide the functional panels that they wish to make available for others. For the utility, students can decide on several options such as only allowing registered users (via log in) to comment on their posts and be notified if there are any comments made on their posts. Other more sophisticated customisations such as personalised background design or seamless incorporation of posts into other websites are available at a fee.
Additionally, Podomatic permits the downloading of podcast as mp3 files. This is an automatic feature in Podomatic, which does not require any action from students’ part. The ability to download mp3 as portable audio files opens up alternative learning strategies that may boost students’ motivation as they have the choice of listening to podcast anytime and anywhere (via portable player).
Finally, Podomatic offers the possibilities to include of a variety of resources across multiple modes. The post utility itself allows students to post video, audio, images and text. On top of that, the rich text editor has provisions for hyperlinks and file attachments. Interestingly, the text editor interface is akin to that of the standard word processing packages, hence making it easy for students and teachers to use.
Suggested Uses of Podomatic in Oral Lessons
The affordances analysis of Podomatic avers its potential uses in oral lessons. Based on the analysis, two lists of suggested uses are drawn up for possible implementation. One is for addressing the issues as described by teachers and the other is to enhance oral lessons for meaningful learning.
Suggested uses of Podomatic to address issues
In tackling teachers’ complains that some of the e-mailed podcasts could not be played back or contained errors, a suggestion is to use Podomatic’s recording utility. The recordings or podcast files are automatically saved and hosted via Podomatic’s hosting service. These podcasts are immediately available for playback purposes through the same platform without the need of other tools. This seamless integration of utilities will significantly reduce the possibility of having corrupted files.
The recording feature also presents high possibility in addressing issues pertaining students not being able to produce podcasts due to the technicalities involved. Recording via Podomatic is easy and does not require any technical knowledge and skill pertaining to podcasting. The huge reduction in terms of technical-related tasks in Podomatic makes it easy for students to focus on their oral presentations.
The comment feature is recommended in addressing teachers’ concerns that they did not have enough class time to discuss more podcasts. With the comment feature, teachers will still be able to provide comments and feedbacks even out of class time. They have more time to listen to individual podcasts and provide personalised comments. Thus all students have the chance to receive meaningful feedbacks.
The comment feature is also suggested to circumvent the challenges that teachers faced where they needed to switch from one tool to another while listening and providing comments. Since this feature is integrated in Podomatic, teachers no longer need to switch between tools. They are able to listen to podcast and offer comments all within the same platform.
Suggested activities and uses of Podomatic for enhanced teaching and learning
The recording feature of Podomatic enables students to record or write on their learning experiences or understanding of the oral skills that they acquired. This allows them to do self-reflection by reifying their mental thoughts into other modes to represent their thinking. According to Jonassen et al. (2008), doing self-reflections help learners deliberate and ponder on new knowledge so as to assimilate with prior knowledge thus constructing meaning. In this suggestion, learners have the opportunity to reflect on their own presentation and upon the comments from others.
Students can use the comment feature to provide feedback to peers. This activity encourages students to analyse other oral presentations, learn to offer constructive comments and at the same time reflect on their own presentations. As Jonassen et al. (2008) share, humans work together naturally in building knowledge. They assist and seek assistance from others in order to solve problems or perform certain tasks. From these co-operative activities and exchanging of ideas via conversation (online), humans tapped others' knowledge and appropriated them accordingly to suit their needs. In this context, peers provide comments so that learners can appropriate those to improve their oral presentations.
Another suggestion is for teachers to utilise the rich text editor to deliver content and supplement students with a variety of resources that they can work with. Since the rich text editor allows the insertion of many resources through hyperlink, attachment or embedment, teachers are able to include numerous different modes of teaching and learning materials. These include videos, podcasts, images and reading to suit the different learning modalities. Based on Gagne’s nine events of instruction, the appropriate inclusion of these resources will aid in students learning such as capturing and sustaining students’ attentions and multiple opportunities for practices to confirm understanding.
Finally teachers and students can make use of the podcast timeline to pinpoint specific section/s of the podcast where they commented upon. This makes it easy for respondent to crosscheck between the comments and section/s of the podcast. Without having to scan through the entire podcast to look for the specific sections, learners’ extraneous cognitive load is reduced. This then potentially increases their germane cognitive load to focus on the learning activity (Pass, Renkl, & Sweller, 2003).
The aforementioned suggested uses of Podomatic utilities in oral lessons are made possible after a thorough analysis of its affordances. A closer look will show that the application of affordances analysis is applicable to almost every technological tool. With the already countless amount of technological tools readily available either online or offline, the recruitment of affordances analysis becomes indispensable to discern technology tools to be adapted for educational purposes.
The advent of technology, especially Web 2.0 opens up a spectrum of possibilities in creating new innovative ways of teaching and learning. This however comes with a caveat of possible misappropriation of the tool due to unacquaintance, which may result in limited use or non-congruency to goals of the lessons or tasks. Therefore, it becomes imperative that thorough affordance analyses of the technological tools are performed to determine their suitability to be used in specific context of education. Affordance analysis has great potential to uncover the affordances of the tool that fits into many teaching pedagogies and learning tasks. As Bower (2008) points out, in choosing a technological tool for teaching or learning, it is essential to find the match between technological affordances and the required tasks.
Bower, M. (2008). Affordance analysis – matching learning tasks with learning technologies. Educational Media International, 45(1), 3-15.
Cebeci, Z., & Tekdal, M. (2006). Using podcasts as audio learning objects. Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects, 2, 47–57.
Harris, C. (2006). Blogs, podcast, and the letter J. Library Media Connection, 25, 60-62.
Hsu, H. Y., Wang, S. K., & Comac, L. (2008). Using audioblogs to assist English-language learning: An investigation into student perception. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 21(2), 181-198.
Huann, T. Y., & Thong, M. K. (2006). Audioblogging and podcasting in education. [Electronic Version]. Retrieved February 9, 2010, from http://edublog.net/astinus/mt/files/docs/Literature%20Review%20on%20audioblogging%20and%20podcasting.pdf
Jonassen, D. H., Howland, J., Marra, R. M., & Crismond, D. (2008). Meaningful learning with technology. New Jersey: Pearson.
Kolb, L. (2006). From toy to tool: Audioblogging with cell phone. Learning & Leading with Technology, 34(3), 16-20.
Lucking, R. A., Christmann, E. P., & Wighting, M. J. (2009). Podcasts and blogs. Science Scope, 33(3), 64-67.
Ministry of Education. (2008). 2010 English language (primary and secondary — express / normal (academic)) syllabus. Retrieved from http://www.moe.edu.sg/education/syllabuses/languages-and-literature/files/english-primary-secondary-express-normal-academic.pdf.
Ministry of Education. (2010). Nurturing our Young for the Future--Competencies for the 21st Century. Retrieved from
Paas, F., Renkl, A., & Sweller, J. (2003). Cognitive load theory and instructional design: Recent developments. Educational Psychologist, 38(1), 1-4.
Partnership for 21st century skills. (2004). Communication and collaboration. Retrieved March 9, 2010, from http://www.p21.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=261&Itemid=120
Seitzinger, J. (2006). Be constructive: Blogs, podcasts, and wikis as constructivist learning tools. Learning Solutions e-Magazine.
Siegle, D. (2007). Podcasts and blogs: Learning opportunities on the information highway. Gifted Child Today, 30(3), 14-19.
Sun, Y. C. (2009). Voice blog: An exploratory study of language learning. Language Learning & Technology, 2(88-103).
Tan, K. W. P., & Detenber, B. H. (2006). Audio weblogs: Communication breakthrough or communication overload? Paper presented at the International Communication Association, Dresden, Germany.
Tan, Y. H., Ow, E. G. J., & Tan, S. C. (2006). Audioblogging: Supporting the learning of oral communication skills in Chinese language. Paper presented at the AECT Research Symposia, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
Wang, Q. Y., Woo, H. L., & Chai, C. S. (2010). Affordances of ICT tools for learning. In C. S. Chai & Q. Y. Wang (Eds.), ICT for self-directed and collaborative learning (pp. 70-79). Singapore: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
About the Author
Wan Fareed is a Research Assistant in the Centre for Research in Pedagogy and Practice at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He has worked on numerous educational technology projects and research studies in both educational and corporate settings.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
|August 2010 Index|