Technologies for learning? An actor-network theory critique of ‘affordances’ in research on mobile learning
How is the link between learner and technology made in mobile learning? Whatis the value of the concept of ‘affordances’? And how does research articulatingthis concept act to position mobile devices as ‘technologies for learning’? Thisliterature review used both unstructured and structured search samples of publishedresearch on mobile learning to critically evaluate the prevalence and influenceof the concept of the affordances of mobile technologies. Actor-networktheory is drawn on as a theoretical lens through which to critically considerhow this concept is articulated, and in particular to explore the way it positionsand controls mobile devices as technologies for learning. Parallels in contemporaryaccounts of mobile learning are drawn with classifications of previous discoursesaround the introduction of computers into schools. An alternativeagenda for mobile learning research is suggested with a focus on authentic andinformal contexts rather than controlled experiments.
Authors contributing to Research in Learning Technology retain the copyright of their article and at the same time agree to publish their articles under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY 4.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, for any purpose, even commercially, under the condition that appropriate credit is given, that a link to the license is provided, and that you indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.