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Re: [xmca] adult affordances


You're making me feel like a dinosaur fuddy-duddy, but I like your idea. I mean, I had already figured out that as a node in their social networks I don't count for much. But incorporating the technology into the class is something I hadn't thought of. Your message sent me Googling, and I think I might try this, incorporating tweets into a Mac Keynote presentation:


If the students were following me on Twitter, each slide could send a tweet to them. 

Sadly, I don't yet have a twitter account. Lady Gaga and I are not yet on tweeting terms.

But I'm not convinced that the cellphones are not controlling the students. Their affordances seem to be irresistible. But this might put me in change of the phones...

Good lurking!


On Mar 14, 2012, at 8:50 PM, Adam Mendelson wrote:

> Think about the cellphone not as a toy to be played with, but as a node in a
> social network that connects your students to other members of that network.
> Then think about your classes as a relatively small activity within the much
> greater activity system that motivates the behaviors of your students.
> I don't think students that use cellphones in class are victims to their
> phones. They simply dedicate their attention according to the perceived
> importance of the multiple interactions in which they are potentially
> engaged at any time. They are exerting self-control when they use their
> cellphone: they are effectively ignoring their teacher in order to do
> something else that they perceive as more important. 
> If it bothers you, you might want to try to integrate texting, tweeting,
> and/or facebooking into class by enabling students to send messages to a
> chatroom or stream that is projected to all in the classroom. I recently saw
> John Seely Brown at the DML conference in San Francisco, and while his talk
> would have been fantastic on it's own, having access to the twitter back
> channel that was projected on multiple screens in the room certainly added
> to my experience. 
> Just the two cents of an XMCA lurker (for the most part)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
> Behalf Of Martin Packer
> Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 6:31 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [xmca] adult affordances
> An odd conjunction of issues of content and management  in my undergraduate
> developmental psychology course has me puzzled, and so I'm appealing for
> xmca help!  A few weeks ago I was expounding on the notion that the toddler
> lives in a world not of permanent objects but of affordances - irresistible
> offers to action, made by the things and people and places that surround him
> or her. Gibson, filtered through Vygotsky.
> At the same time, I was waging an unceasing war against the use of cell
> phones in the classroom. (Today I actually got to the point of confiscating
> them when I saw them, and telling the students they could buy them back from
> me later in the city center. With humor, I hope!)
> Finally, it struck me. These young adults, too, are victims of irresistible
> offers to action, made by their little iPhones or Nokias or whatever.
> So what is it about a cell phone that completely overwhelms any and every
> facet of self control? Why is it that I can forbid cell use at the start of
> each class, yet in seconds they start to appear? What is it that transforms
> a young adult into no more than a toddler?
> Martin
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