The affordances of digital technologies and user behaviour



So as part of my new job at Bath Spa University I got a Mac Book Pro and an iPad Air. I leave the former in the office (after a disaster two weeks into the job when I spilt liquid on the first Mac Book Pro). The latter I take everywhere with me. I have noticed that using the iPad Air is changing my behaviour. For example, I have got into the habit of using it first thing, surfing the web, fb and Twitter; to find, share and comment on useful resources and links. I realised that I needed a curation tool to keep track of the things I was finding. I asked on fb and a number of suggestions came back:, Diigo, evernote, pocket, livebinders, pinterest, sight & screenshots, and pearltrees.


I decided to give pearltrees a go and set up an account this morning. I have already created a number of collections: Digital Technologies, Digital Literacy, Online and Distance Education, Learning Design, Social Media, Educational Videos, and Mobile Learning. It was quick and easy to set up, and has a nice interface. For some reason I don’t use curation tools on my laptop, but there is something about the affordances (Gibson 1979, Conole and Dyke 2004) of the iPad Air interface and the peartrees App that makes curation easier. So for me there is definitely a correlation between the affordances of digital technologies and user behaviour.



Conole, G. and M. Dyke (2004). “What are the affordances of information and communication technologies?” ALT-J 12(2): 113-124 %U

Gibson, J. J. (1979). The ecological approach to visual perception. Hillsdale, New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum Associated.


Leave a Reply