Developing a Framework for Conceptualizing Affordances of Technology in Education

Sijia Xue, Zhao Han


The term affordance has been defined and interpreted diversely in different domains over decades. However, little attention has been paid to the definition of affordances in the domain of education. With the increasing application of various technologies in education, the conceptualization of educational affordances of technology is essential to fully explore the educational potential of technology and better understand how learning could be supported with the affordances of technology. This paper compares the existing literature concerning affordance theories and defines affordances in the domain of education. A framework for conceptualizing educational affordances of technology has been articulated based on the literature to interpret the notion from three aspects: technology, user, and environment. The framework would not only help practitioners to understand the certain capability of technology to provide an effective mediating tool for educational activities but also assist researchers to study the educational affordances of technology from new dimensions.

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